November 8, 2012 by Will Ray
I was about 18 months into my position as Youth Ministries Director when we took our students to camp for the second time last summer. The speaker that year was Pastor Glenn Lee, lead pastor at nearby Church Alive. We had some time for him to speak to the leaders at camp. What he shared in those two sessions had a huge impact on me. I hope they will for you as well. He spoke these principles specifically to a ministry setting, but I think it can work anywhere, when applied properly.
Want to win? Want to be great at what you do? Want to move things forward?
Get F.A.T. Faithful. Available. Teachable.
First things first. Just be faithful with the charge you’ve been given. No matter the setting, don’t try to be Superman (or woman) and do everything. Just be faithful with the responsibility you have now. Furthermore, you’re not just called to be faithful to your department or youth ministry, you’re called to be faithful to your church or organization in general. And your pastor (or leader or boss) specifically. That part is harder than the first sometimes, but it will ultimately be the most rewarding path.
No matter the path, no matter the challenges, no matter what stuff you have to put up with, be faithful. At the very least, you’ll be able to leave with a clean conscience, knowing that you have no regrets; knowing that you were faithful all the way through.
Be available to your team; be available to your leader; be available to those you serve. For me, that means being available to my pastor, to my volunteer leadership team, and to those whom I serve – our students and their families. You can pray, you can study, you can prepare. But if you’re not available to serve when called upon, it’s not worth a whole lot. For youth pastors, that also means being available at times outside of your weekly services or small groups – those are just a small part of your students’ lives.
Lastly, be teachable. I’ve heard it more times and from more places than I can count: Leaders must be readers. You’ve got to return to the point emotionally where you really don’t know anything and can be receptive to people speaking into your life.
A great test for your teachability is this: How do you respond to correction? Do you recoil and become defensive, rationalizing the decisions you made? Or do you accept correction or advice, and retain a humble and teachable spirit? There’s always someone with more knowledge, skill, or experience than you. Be willing to listen them, and you’ll be better off.
I think we all want things to grow, expand, move forward in our lives (at least most of us). We want God to expand our territory, responsibility, authority; but it wont happen unless we are Faithful, Available, and Teachable. Get F.A.T.
Question: How have you seen these principles pay off for you?