Sunday, August 26, 2012

YOUTH: Leadership curriculum? What's that?

I have a simple philosophy about a lot of things.  These days people think there are curricula for teaching things people learn naturally when given the opportunity.  Leadership is one of those things.

If you want to encourage leadership among your youth, give them opportunities to lead, to succeed, and to fail.  Success is fantastic but failure is a part of life and youth need to know that when it happens we just try again or try something new.  Let them fail but don't let them bail.

The truth is that some people are more natural leaders than others.  Even so, everybody who wants to lead should be given the chance.  Depending on the size of your group, all of the committees below can have one leader and helpers or have two or three people of equal rank. 

Opportunities within the group: 
  • Leadership - "President" and "Vice President" who will run planning meetings and make sure the other committees are doing what they need to do.  They also should attend youth board meetings and voters meetings and convey that information back to the rest of the youth.
  • Spiritual Life - responsible for making sure somebody signs up to lead devotions at or after activities.  All youth activities and meetings should have a spiritual life component.  That's why they're there!
  • Fundraising - responsible for coming up with fundraising ideas to bring to the rest of the group and decided by the whole group at a meeting.
  • Food - responsible for organizing snacks or food for events.  If there are special events such as a fundraising dinner/dessert theater or camping/mission trips, they're responsible for helping decide menus, shopping, etc.
  • Communication - responsible for bulletin announcements and email, text reminders, and/or facebook pages.
  • Service - responsible for finding areas within the greater congregation for service.  This might be helping in the nursery, being an usher, etc.  They also would be responsible for finding service opportunities outside of the church to be decided by the whole group at a meeting.
If your group is really small (less than 10 or so) you'll have to adjust appropriately.  More things can be decided by the whole group or responsibilities can be combined.

Remember:  The key to building leaders is to LET THE KIDS LEAD.  Adults should be aware of what's going on and guide the process but LET THE KIDS LEAD.  If somebody does it for them they're not leading.  If some of their ideas don't work, it's ok.

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