Build Relationships Exponentially

Build Relationships Exponentially

Moses is arguably one of the best leaders in history. He followed God into some crazy situations and confrontations with Pharaoh; he led hundreds of thousands from freedom to slavery; he continued to lead, despite grumbling and opposition, and never lost track of where his vision came from.
But he did it all by himself. This is not more praise for him, but less. He did it alone, and that set him up for failure. In Exodus 18, Moses is visited by his father-in-law, Jethro, who tells him that this is a bad situation. Jethro sees all of Israel coming to Moses for judgement on everything from doctrine to minor property disputes. Rather than just criticize, Jethro gives Moses some game-changing advice (which all of us in leadership need to follow): "You can't do this alone... recruit help." And he did.

Exodus 18:24-26 NIV
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

As the leader, you will die if you are the only one leading and building relationships. Multiply and "replace" yourself and you will find leadership to be much easier and rewarding. It is crucial to recruit quality leaders, and empower them to take on part of the load of the ministry, by building meaningful relationships with a few students. Here are five ways to get started:

1. CAST THE VISION: You can't have people help you if you don't know what you're doing. Figure out the vision for the ministry, and then do everything you can to over-communicate it to your leaders. This helps everyone to work toward a common goal, and allows them the freedom to run when they know what direction to take.

2. 4-LAYER LEADERSHIP: Amazingly, the Bible has some things to say about leadership. 2 Timothy 2:2 NIV "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." There are four different positions here: Paul (1), writing to Timothy (2), who is to entrust this to reliable people (3) who will teach others (4). We should strive to always be in the second layer here. So, you have to be receiving something from a leader above you (or you’ll stop growing and become stagnant). Then find good leaders and train them. But don’t let them sit on this. They have to pass it on as well. If everyone sees themselves as a second layer leader, they are always passing on what they receive with the intent of the next person passing it on as well. This is the model my pastor is implementing at our church across the board and it is very effective.
So, train your leaders to pass on what they get from you to the students. And not just for it to stop there, but teach the students in a way that they are encouraged and empowered to pass it on to others as well. (Bonus: this ends up fulfilling the Great Commission as well!)

3. TRAIN THEM WELL: What have you learned about building relationships with students? Pass these things on to your leaders to help them. Offer small group training, leader retreats, online resources, etc. Again, "entrust these things to others..." Pass on everything you know about this. (Bonus: In building relationships with your leaders, you will help set an example for how they duplicate this themselves.)

4. SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS: Use spiritual gifts inventories, personality tests, and even Strengths Finder to help your leaders identify their strengths and abilities. Then have them serve where their strengths are. If you have a leader who is into gaming, put him over a small group with kids that have that in common. Get creative... I once had a leader come to me who wanted to get involved, but she didn't feel that she was young enough/cool enough to be a small group leader and play games with students. So we asked her to run the snack bar and be a greeter for us. She started sending me weekly emails with the names she learned each week, and the students dubbed her the "snack bar momma". Great relationships were happening, SUCCESS!

5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: There is another point that my pastor is training us to utilize... and it comes from the medical profession. Watch me. Help me. Show me. Have leaders watch you hanging out with students and building relationships. Then bring them along and do it together. Then have them build a few on their own.

 

That's it. Jesus died to restore relationship with us. We are most like him when we are building godly relationships with each other and with students, and encouraging one another toward deeper relationships with God.

 

How do you train, equip, and empower your volunteers?

Brian Lucas loves Jesus.

Jesus-follower. Husband. Father. Youth Worker. Graphic Designer. Photographer. Musician. More or less in that order.

I am serving as the Student Ministries Director at LifePoint Church in Minden, NV. It's beautiful here, and my wife and twin daughters and I love it. My wife is an over-educated stay at home mom (Masters in Christian Education - Youth Ministry). My kids are only 2-1/2 and might be smarter than me already. I love youth ministry, and seeing people of all ages get closer to Jesus. When I'm not serving in ministry, I run a graphic design business on the side, and a family craft business with my Mom, sister, and wife. 

Life is short. Be rad for Jesus.


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