I’m starting youth ministry as a Jr High volunteer small group leader in a new church. I’ve got 25 years of experience and I’m ready to hit the ground running. This is going to be amazing!

I’ve been partnered with 2 leaders, complete strangers. One is a 26-year-old new Christian, and the other is a sophomore in high school. This is going to be great.

Last night I had dinner with the two of them and came to a realization/new chapter which I’m challenged and excited by. I’ve never had co-leaders I didn’t already know, so this surprise was initially unsettling. I’m going to have to take a new approach to how I normally do youth ministry.

Neither of these leaders have experience, and are a combination of “apprehensive” and “only here to do what they signed up for”. What I see as my new challenge is not only being a small group leader, but also creating two youth workers. This will be fun and challenging.

Rather than taking this group from 0-60 in a couple of weeks, I need to “slower” my expectations. I’m temporarily lowering them to bring these guys up to speed at a slower pace to hopefully prevent them from giving up. It’s going to take more time than I hoped to get our group to reach its potential. I’m going to enjoy seeing these new leaders “get it” and get “ruined” for life as youth workers. I write “ruined” because, hopefully, they’ll both reach a point where they can’t imagine life without doing youth ministry.

I realize there’s a chance they’ll give up and go a different direction. My goal by slowing down is to give them time to catch the vision and get hooked before we get up to speed. Pray for me.

If you’re in the same boat as me, let me know so we can compare notes and pray for each other. If you’re in the same boat as my co-leaders, keep reading the posts as they come out. Hopefully, they will be helpful to you as well.