Leadership in Action
Meet Mike. At 19, he's one of the youth staff in his church, but his leadership role started when he was a part of the youth group.
"One day our youth pastor said they needed leaders, so I offered my services," Mike explains.
As a student leader, Mike became a paid intern to the youth workers, helping in all aspects of ministering to kids.
"I had almost no experience being a leader," he says. "Quickly, I learned how much people depend on me to do my best."
"The change from student to leader was something to which I had to adjust. I was no longer the person getting told to be quiet and sit down. Now, I was responsible to monitor the youth. I am still learning how to discern in my spirit the moments where it's okay to let something slide, and the times when I need to come in hard and stern."
Mike did so well that he was invited to join the church staff full time, working with the youth ministry.
"My favorite part is when everything is going smoothly and everyone is having a good time," he says. "Bumps in the road don't bother me so much anymore, but it's hard acting like I'm in control even when I know I'm moments away from losing it. It's scary to be in a situation where it looks like everything is going downhill, and it's entirely my fault. But thank God, He always provides a way through."
"I also like getting to know the youth. It's great seeing how talented the teens are, and how much potential every single youth holds."
Part of Mike's job includes mentoring the teens who are now youth interns. "I teach them all I know, mostly about how to be better employees," he notes. "What I notice the most is how much they watch me. The best, and sometimes hardest, thing is knowing that if I mess up, I'm letting them down. I know the most important part of my job is standing out as a true follower of Christ, and giving them an example to follow."
As Mike works with teens, he's realized how effective teen leaders can be. "When youth are invested in, it's remarkable how much they can accomplish.
"Consider how much youth can impact the world, just through their own society. Imagine what would happen if we had young Christian leaders, as famous as Miley Cyrus, out there promoting Christ.
"I believe that youth are the ones who are rising up to change the world. Sometimes all they need is someone to invest in them."