Leaders of leaders leave behind a wake of disciple-makers who are known, loved, and served as children of God first. Then they equip these trustworthy believers so they will continue multiplying the reach of the Gospel.
To impact today’s kids, students, and families, we need a movement of kid-influencers who are committed to pursuing a future that will leave a disciple-making legacy behind. You and I have the opportunity and responsibility to build into children’s and youth ministry leaders in powerful ways for the sake of Christ and kids of all ages. Below you’ll find three powerful ways to lead your leaders well.
Know each leader’s story
Every leader in your ministry has a unique story. Beyond completing a serving interview and a background check, it’s important that your leaders become known by you and in community with other kid-influencers. Who they are today is a result of how God has worked in the past and what He’s doing in them currently.
Paul specifically mentions Timothy’s faith background in 2 Timothy 1:5. He says, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Whether your leaders came from a legacy of faith or came to Christ later in life, take time to get to know each one personally.
Find out about each leader’s family of origin and current family. Hobbies, hopes and dreams are all good conversation starters. Explore how he or she became a follower of Christ and the impact this decision has on their life choices. Regularly talk together about how God is growing each of you up in the faith. The interest you take in getting to know your leaders will strengthen your bond as a disciple-making team and the impact you have on kids, students, and families.
Love each leader’s passion
1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” If you’re a great shepherd of people, you probably need teachers and administrators in your children’s and youth ministry mix. If you’re naturally hospitable, you likely need some strategic leaders and prayer warriors by your side. Whatever you’re most passionate about and spiritually gifted for is just one part of what your team needs. Your ability to love each leader for who they are and what they love is mission critical. The body of Christ has capacity for many passions and spiritual gifts, but do you?
As you pull together your children’s and youth ministry team, select leaders who are deeply moved by whatever God has placed on his or her heart. You don’t need to live out their passion to love the passion that’s in them. It can be tempting to subdue someone else’s fire for fear that it will overtake yours. Resist this as a leader of leaders. Trust that God has a purpose for putting your flame and theirs’ together for a greater disciple-making purpose. Give your kids, students, and families in your ministry the opportunity to gravitate toward a wide variety of passions and spiritual gifts.
Serve each leader’s ministry
You and your ministry have a purpose, but so does each leader on your team. Ephesians 2:10 is an incredible verse: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This passage establishes the heart of our ministry as part of our identity in Christ. The Lord formed us, literally as works of art, to live out that which He specifically designated us to accomplish. If you hold the leaders in your ministry back, who else will do their good works in Jesus’ name?
You can multiply your disciple making efforts as a leader of leaders by fully supporting the people on your team. This will also affect the children and youth in your ministry, for they will quickly discover that they too have a God-given ministry to fulfill. Spend time as a leadership team talking about what each of you is called to pursue. Figure out ways to serve uniquely and in community toward a common goal. A much broader group of kids, students, and families will be impacted as you meet more needs than one person or approach can do alone.