Patient Leadership

When I started out in youth ministry I remember wanting to be at the top of my game right away.  I was not at all patient which made me irritable.  This affected the relationships I had with volunteers, students, myself and God.  My impatience painted a poor picture of my leadership and gave the impression that I was indecisive.

Anyone who is new to youth ministry feels the pressure of performing at a high level right away.  While success can come early, if you want to build a long lasting sustainable youth ministry you need to be patient.  With patience you grow as a leader and disciple of Christ.  To be patient and grow it, you need to:

  • Stay Persistent: It’s easy to grow impatient when you expect change overnight.  It’s important to remember that youth ministry is a journey.  You will experience many different seasons that will test, push and pull you.  To get through them take one day at a time.  Focus on growing deeper and wider and never give in.
  • Embrace Imperfection: When you are patient you understand that mistakes are learning opportunities. Being patient means you understand that there is a growing process for everyone.  You won’t find yourself irritated with your volunteers, coworkers, student’s or their parents because you are reminded that we are all human.  Youth ministry is messy and the only way to navigate through it is by being patient.
  • Trust God: Patient leaders trust God to give them what they need at exactly when they need it.  When you are feeling overwhelmed or pressured find time to quietly talk with God.  It might feel like a strain at first; however, when you rest and focus on Him you’ll find patience.

If you focus on being patient you learn how to pace yourself through a crazy world.  With patience you pick up on small details because you aren’t rushing through them.  A patient leader is prudent, slow to anger and trusting that God has an incredible plan.

How do you practice patience?


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