Before you realize it, kids you raised up in children’s programs become youth qualified for church leadership. It can be incredibly difficult to come to terms with this for a variety of reasons. It’s hard to recognize that they are old enough to be in those roles – and it’s hard to understand that they are adults when you’ve watched them throw temper tantrums, changed their diapers, and rolled your eyes when they just couldn’t settle down during prayer.
Now that’s it’s time for these youth to find leadership positions within your church, you can be a strong supporter for helping them find what fits their mission and goals. After all, you know them best! How do you know when the “kids” are ready to pick up new leadership roles?
Bottomline, there’s no perfect formula. As the body of Christ, the church has many different parts with different roles. By passing your leadership baton and your learnings from being a church leader, you give youth opportunities to explore and share their gifts. Here are some tips to help you with this transition.
For church leadership:
- You were called to raise them up. It is part of your ministry role. Part of your role can also be creating opportunities and inviting others who may feel called to lead next.
- Remember kids can do amazing things for God! As with David and Samuel, God calls people at young ages to lead and serve.
- No two leaders are exactly the same. You have role modeled for them. During your leadership exchange, be open to hear changes they may want to bring in serving your faith community.
For youth seeking leadership roles in the church:
- Be patient with your adult leaders. Many of them have spent years of their lives doing the work of the church. They are ready to give you a turn and believe you will do a great job.
- Listen to their wisdom – it comes from experience and their heart. Even when you are qualified for leadership, you are never above learning from those who went before you.
- Remember God is with you. God created you with unique talents to share with others. A gift of leadership may be one of them. Give yourself a chance to shine.
Change can be difficult for both sides, both for church leaders who have to accept that kids are ready for responsibility and for youth who are eager to get started and help. Remember you’re on the same team with the same mission: to spark faith in your community.
Interested in learning more about creating leaders in your ministry? Download our FREE eBook, “Creating Leaders Across Your Ministry!”