GO BEYOND AND ADD ANOTHER LAYER TO HAVING A ONE-ON-ONE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTER OR FINDING A MINISTY MENTOR...
Youth ministry and ministry in general can be a very lonely place. Men and women of God serve the community, while not being truly in community. Standing in front of others and leading others to connect while not really feeling connected. Mentoring and discipling those they are called to serve, while not having anyone they can lean on. Who mentors the mentor? Who disciples the disciple? Who communes with a church community’s leader?
As men and women in ministry leadership roles, especially youth ministry, it is necessary and essential to find connection, relationship, community and to be mentored. In the most traditional sense there is a need for one-on-one discipleship. It a Biblical model and practices. It is a healthy thing to find someone who can walk through life and hold us accountable for spiritual and ministry practices. Much has been written of the who and how of finding traditional one to one, life on life mentors. Let us now add a new layer to the conversation
In an age of numbers and mega-everything the Christian leader has been placed in competition with fellow leaders and put at odds to true Kingdom life. While being individually mentor, the modern leader has missed out on the greater leader community, because of this. There is no loss of conventions, trainings, and conferences on national level but where are the local spaces of gathering? When are the times where Kingdom leaders may lay aside the non-essential differences and join for round table sharing, accountability, and life together. We as the leaders of the church, whether paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time are an order unto ourselves. Our struggles and successes can only be appreciated by those who live within the calling. Due to the pressures to succeed and be seen as successful, today youth leader have become separated to those closest to them in mission and purpose, other youth leaders/workers in their local area
In addition to individual mentoring, consider creating a network of other youth workers, beyond denominational lines. Allow yourself and others in your area to join together to find common ground, purpose, and spiritual strength. Do not come together only to plan and create more programs and events. Come together to openly share and honestly prayer for one another. Instead of thinking of mentoring in singular, begin to think also about mentoring in the plural.
Youth ministry has placed such a high value on small groups in our ministries where students find connection, support, and private spiritual conversation. Why not the youth leader themselves having the same kind of group? If we plan and preach the value of small discipleship setting, why not practice what we preach?
Consider and pray beyond the walls of our own church and ministry looking to our local areas. Find those who are called like we are to the lives of students and invite them to meet, talk, and create deeper relationships. What we may discover is that while we still have our individual discipleship relationships, we can also add a new depth to our understanding of what it is to be ministered to and not just minister!