There are a lot of responsibilities we have as youth leaders. We must look after the budget. We must keep track of each student, their story, and their parents expectations. We have to fill out evaluation forms for each event, submit them to the appropriate committees, and prove that we’re intentional about making the next event better. We report to people, and they criticize back. We must always be present.
But behind all these different tasks is the most important task of them all: communication.
I recently found myself in the middle of two bad things: frustration and a bad mood. And during my self loathing I received a phone call that my sensitive emotions weren’t prepared for, and I lashed out with full force. I promise you, the result was not positive, and much apologies were required to calm the storm I created with the simple use of my tongue.
One of my most beloved passages comes from Ephesians 4 where Paul is instructing this group of Christians (who of course know their religion very well) of they way they ought to be acting. And in the middle of condemning them, he cautions them to watch their tongue, among a plethora of other cautions. As I returned to this passage following this conflict (it’s been discussed and resolved), I realized that instead of “Keep Calm and.... [keep quiet]” I opened my mouth. The same tongue that builds up had destroyed like an unwanted tornado.
The role of leadership a youth pastor has can be messy at the best of times. But communication is one of the most essential responsibilities of doing our work well. Many of us in leadership have likely discovered that the greatest times of doubt in our work is usually precedented by our lack of ability to communicate. And once people start wondering what it is that we’re up to, they too lash out (usually in love) seeking explanation and understanding.
So the next time you’re so proud of the ways you’ve put the recent Bible study together, or how you caught all the details and possible variables perfectly right, find a way to articulate those things to those invested and not invested. They, too, want to be part of what you’re doing, whether or not you sense that.
- What is your most direct line of communication between your students and their parents?
- What are your horror stories that came from a lack of communication?