Do you have them? The four characteristics necessary to become a Gospel Advancing, disciple-making leader worth following?
Since Value #3 of a Gospel Advancing Ministry is all about you and your adults leading the way by embracing and modeling a Gospel Advancing lifestyle, let’s unpack a few practical leadership development insights that can help you become a leader worth following.
“Convictions” represent a firmly held set of beliefs that accurately express our deepest motivations. At Dare 2 Share, we’ve found two integral convictions that characterize effective Gospel Advancing leaders. 1) A passionate desire to bring God maximum glory, and 2) A passionate desire to see people fully transformed by the power of the gospel.
What convictions drive your life and ministry? Spend some time with God this week and meditate on 1 Corinthians 4:5 which says: “…wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” Then prayerfully reflect on what motivates you to share or not share the gospel with others—good, bad or ugly. For example, motivations to share the gospel might include love for God, compassion for the lost, obedience to God, spiritual rewards, Christ’s return or not wanting to see friends go to hell. Motivations not to share might include fear of rejection, fear of being mocked or fear that you won’t know what to say.
Once you’ve identified your personal motivations, ask God to purify and/or deepen them.
It’s been said that character is who you are when nobody else is watching. Character is the foundation upon which true leadership is built.
So ask yourself the hard question: Are you a fully-devoted follower of Jesus, even when nobody else is watching? Perhaps you’re making choices that are negatively impacting your character and pulling you away from Christ-likeness, rather than pushing you toward Jesus. Even the great apostle Paul struggled with sin. Check out his words in Romans 7:21-25:
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Sin is ugly. But “thanks be to God” we’re not in the battle alone. We have the Spirit of God at work in us! So don’t settle. Confess your sin and invite God into that area of your life and start working on it this week. Ask God to “deliver you through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Do you do what you do well, and work “as unto the Lord,” or are you just trying to get by?
Try This! ❯
This is especially critical in the area of motivating and mobilizing your students to share the gospel. How competent are you when it comes to training those God has put under your spiritual care to effectively, relationally share their faith and make disciples? As Greg Stier puts it, “Not training a Christian teen how to share their faith is like refusing to train a basketball player how to shoot the ball.”
If evangelism training is a weak spot for you, remember that Dare 2 Share is here to help you! Here are just a few training options you might consider as you launch into this new school year:
- Dare 2 Share LIVE :: This national, live, multi-site training and outreach event is truly one-of-a-kind. With high-energy training, activation, and inspiration, it’s really more of a rally point for a revolution than a gathering.
- Free Gospelize Your Youth Ministry Book and Video Series :: In Gospelize, Greg Stier unpacks seven key ingredients present within the early church and shows how you can blend them together today to create a gospelized youth ministry that results in dynamic Kingdom growth. Get your free copy today!
- Evangelism Training Curricula :: Pick up one of Dare 2 Share’s faith-sharing curriculum products and get your student motivated and mobilized to share their faith. Great options include Shine, Full Circle, Salt or Life in 6 Words.
Risk is at the core of courage. And faith is at the core of risk. Are you willing to take risks for the sake of God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom?
There’s no doubt about it. Building a Gospel Advancing Ministry is a risky undertaking. Why? Because if you’re successful, your group will attract all sorts of teenagers who don’t know the “Christian rules of behavior.” Embracing the broken, bullied and bad can get messy. Yet, with Jesus as our model, deep in our heart of hearts, we know it’s worth the risk. So whenever the going gets tough and the parent complaints get loud, remember the story of Jesus and Matthew the tax collector:
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:10-13.)
Reach for a Mirror, Not a Bullhorn
So strive to become a leader worth following! If your students aren’t engaged in prayer and relational evangelism, you need a mirror, not a bullhorn, because it starts with you, not them. If the youth leader—and the adult and student leaders—don’t have hearts that are broken for the lost, then neither will the teenagers in your youth group. And if those in leadership aren’t personally engaging in gospel conversations with others, then the students very likely won’t be either.
If your students aren’t engaged in prayer and relational evangelism, you need a mirror, not a bullhorn, because it starts with us, not them. Click To Tweet
We must lead by example and model prayer, spiritual growth, evangelism and disciple multiplication to our teenagers if we expect them to grow in these areas. We don’t have to be perfect at it, but we must be making forward progress toward the goal. As we do, our teenagers will follow our lead and become more and more like us, as we become more and more like Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1).