Saturday, May 26, 2007

Defend At All Costs

I have interacted with hundreds of youth ministry leaders and pastors over 13 years of ministry.

One major problem I see is Defending At All Costs.

To often I have seen people spend so much time and energy defending what they "think" they know. Youth Pastors are the king of this. I should know.

You sit down with them to give them some tips and they don't listen...they have their own playbook.

When I first started out in coaching at a private school we played flag-football. Coming from playing college football I figured I knew the game and so I came up with all these fancy plays and defenses. We actually did very well with that our district that was. You see that first year every team in our district was playing this sport for the first time. I thought we were going to go dominate the state.

The first game in the playoffs we got a rude awakening. We met up with a team that had been playing flag-football for many years.

They had plays that took advantage of all the rules. They waxed the floor with us.

I had thought that I had it all figured out. I had the formula...and I had the determination. And you know what I found out. I didn't know JACK.

Some of the greatest ministry leaders that I know don't defend but are determined to get it right no matter what the cost. Usually that is a cost to them personally. Sometimes that cost is a willingness to say we just don't know or a willingness to say that the way we were doing it isn't working.

I have seen churches slave away for years...almost a decade...doing the same thing trying to get different results. Well you know what. It just isn't going to happen.

That is insanity.

You need to find someone that is getting great results and sit down and listen...ask questions...don't be so quick to be the next guru. The greatest leaders I know are always asking questions and listening. Taking that one idea they heard and maximizing it in their own organization.


Gina McClain said...

Sweet! I love it. You're right, Jason. Usually the leaders making a difference don't have the time to defend. They're too busy learning, redefining and moving ahead. There's way too much to be accomplished to waste so much time defending what we're doing. If it lines up with God's word and results in changed lives then what in the world is there to defend?!?

Chris Day said...

Jason I hear ya. Our student ministry had been doing the same things for years when I first go here. I remember one meeting when our committee wasn't letting me make changes and lead in a different direction. I looked at them and said, "Are you going to let me lead like I was hired to do or are you going to continue to call the shots? if it's the latter then you need to find someone else to replace me."

Looking back it probably wasn't the smartest thing for me to do especially being new. Sometimes though we are afraid of change and we need a rude awakening to show us that change is necessary. If we aren't willing to change then I think we have a pride issue.

Jason Curlee said...

Great Line of thought Gina...

Good for you Chris. Curious though??? Did they let you lead? Obviously you are still there so that might answer the question. Or did they let you some and you still face some opposition.