I am a firm believer in having a youth group executive or youth council or whatever you call it – a group of the core, committed youth that you can mentor and develop into dedicated and properly equipped leaders. Why, you may ask? Because it is these kids that will be on the church boards, leadership committees, pastors, missionaries, Bible school professors, and the like. The dedicated ones now are going to be the dedicated ones years down the road. They will be the church. I am absolutely convinced that investing large amounts of time, money, effort into developing these teens is well worth it. But this isn’t meant to be an essay on why we should invest in our kids, (that may come later), but rather a how-to on creating a vision for your youth group leadership.
#1. Help Them to Become Discontent
I don’t mean for you to teach them to become avid complainers. What I mean is to teach them not to be happy with ‘ok’. Jesus didn’t come to give us an ‘ok life’ – he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). We shouldn’t be content to be content. We should want more. To know God more. To love God more. To serve God more. To make a big difference in this world for Christ. In order to develop a vision, we must be discontent with where we are right now.
#2. Help Them See Their Significance
This is probably the hardest step – helping kids see that they can make a real difference in their church/community/world. At their stage of life, everyone else tells them what to do. They feel they are the lowest on the chain of command. What good can they do? Lots… eventually. Becoming a leader takes time. Every president, every pastor, every missionary, every board member, every CEO were all kids at one time. They all had someone change their diaper. They were all told what to do. But in time, they would change their world. What great potential lies within your youth group! Who knows who you have in there?!
#3. Help Them Dream
Once they have become discontent with staying where they are now, and once they realize that they can actually be significant, the dreaming will come easy. The hard part will be to figure out how to make that vision a reality. In order to do this, you will need to establish your long terms goals, your short term goals, and develop a plan of action to accomplish each of those goals. Is it a lot of work? Oh yeah. Is it worth it. You bet.
To make things perhaps a little easier for you, I’ve posted the material I used to develop a vision for my youth group executive. It involves a weekend retreat and comes complete with schedule and three interactive presentations that work through the above three points. You can download it here.