From the YMI Director: How often do you let your youth take the lead?
Dear youth ministry friends,
I have a question for all of you to ponder this month.
How often do you let your youth take the lead?
In asking this question, I don’t just mean, “How often do you let them lead a discussion or conversation?” (Though that’s important too.) No, I’m actually curious to know how often you let the young people in your life take the reins, with you completely at their mercy?
The other day, my sixth grader and I were at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to take him off to middle school. We were waiting. And waiting…
We never received any notice, and the bus never came. I realized that if I didn’t drive my son, I would be late for work. A fellow parent was there with their child, and he had less time than I did for his morning routine, so I volunteered to hop in the car and drive both kids.
As we approached the building, I had another less-than-helpful realization. Since the school is new to us, neither my son nor I knew where the drop-off line was. (Heck, at that time, I had only stepped inside the place once before.) But the other child rose to the occasion. He directed me on exactly where to turn—which I could have easily missed—and my morning was back on track.
It might sound like a small thing. But in my verbalized confession, “I’m not sure exactly where I’m going once I get there,” this 12-year-old was able to step up. I listened to him, and all was well.
Admitting we don’t know.
Allowing another to teach us.
In this small encounter, I was reminded of just how much our youth can teach us, I think, if we release ourselves from the expectation that we have all the answers.
How about you? Are there areas of your life where the Spirit calls for less of a pondering, “figuring it all out” stance, and more one of release and trust? Where might the act of admitting you don’t know something, and seeking the leadership of others, be a healing balm for your soul, and for your ministry? And what might that vulnerability teach the youth around you? For more information on how to foster youth leadership within the church, check out our resources here.
Blessing to you all as the fall continues. May you find spaces of release for your spirit, and spaces where others—especially youth—can lead.
On the journey with you,