Inherited Youth Leaders—Blessing or Curse?
By Brad Neese, Student Ministry Pastor at Berrien Center Bible Church
If you’re like me, my itemized compensation package included things like salary, professional expenses, medical insurance, continuing education, and a housing allowance. But one thing was missing, and it came to the surface only a few days after I unpacked my bags—my inheritance of Youth Leaders.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Those words aren’t just helpful in leading a country such as the good ol’ US of A, but they are also extremely helpful in leading a motley crew of inherited Youth Leaders who can be both a blessing and a curse.
Here are some of the blessings:
They provide insight into the lives of teenagers that you just don’t have yet. 2.
Sometimes a good comradary already exists between Youth Leaders. 3.
More times than not, they are looking to you to move the Student Ministry to the next level. 4.
Deep down, they want you to succeed as a leader.
Youth Leaders provide consistency in a time of dramatic change for teenagers. 6.
They have a history and track record with parents and families (also a curse). 7.
You have walking history books that allow insight into the past culture of the Student Ministry.
O.K., life isn’t just rosy all the time. Here are some of the curses of inherited Youth Leaders:
1. Many times they must be trained in a new ministry philosophy.
2. Some will be unwilling to absorb new expectations you have for them.
3. They have a history and track record with parents and families (also a blessing).
4. You may experience power struggles as you adjust to your new leadership position.
5. Youth Leaders may have an initial lack of trust.
6. There are Youth Leaders who really shouldn’t be Youth Leaders in the first place.
7. Unresolved issues among Youth Leaders may already exist.
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