I believe it was John Maxwell who first coined the phrase “leadership cup.” (This is the same John Maxwell that was arrested for bringing a handgun through security at an airport. Don’t believe me? Google it. I dare you. Funny story. It’s true, and it was an accident.)
A person’s leadership cup is their capacity to lead others. Some people have a huge leadership cup. John Maxwell has sold over 13 million books and trained 2 million leaders worldwide. His leadership cup is massive (although we all make mistakes now and then). Other people have leadership cups of various sizes. How big is yours?
The great thing about your leadership cup is that you can grow and make it bigger. Some people are born with big leadership cups and a natural ability to lead others. But if that’s not you, most of the skills and traits of a good leader can still be learned, and that’s good news for all of us. That means we can always grow our potential.
Man do I love youth ministry. (Did I mention I’m bad at transitions?) I love fighting for students, blessing them, serving them, walking with them, and showing them what it means to know Christ’s love and walk with Him.
I love getting together with youth pastors because we have so much in common, even if we’ve never met. Nothing needs to be said: We’d give it all for students.
And I love youth ministry because, unfortunately, we are sometimes the last line of defense for students. If there is nobody else praying for the students in our communities, we won’t give up. We’ll keep praying, keep loving, and keep serving, in Jesus’ name.
What’s that got to do with your leadership cup? One of the hardest parts about being a youth pastor is balancing your passion for the “one” and for the “multitudes.” Jesus said He would leave the 99 for one lost sheep (Matt 18:12). Another time, when crowds of followers were begging him to say, He told them He must continue on to preach the good news to the other towns too (Luke 4:43).
As disciples of Christ and student leaders, we often have to make similar hard choices: How much time do I devote to individuals, and how much time do I devote to the “multitudes”?
You can grow your leadership cup and reach more students. As a youth pastor, I understand that you are giving everything you have to reach and disciple the students you have today. But you also have a heart to impact the hundreds and even thousands of students in your town that still don’t know the Lord. God’s heart also yearns for both those in your group and those that don’t yet know Him. The good news is that you can grow your leadership cup to make an even greater impact in the future.
Be encouraged. Through prayer, learning, and practice, you can grow your leadership cup—and help grow the leadership cup of your leaders—to reach more students tomorrow. And as we grow closer to Him, we will better understand and fulfill God’s heart, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Training Event in Chicago
On Saturday, January 30th, 2010, Called to Youth Ministry is hosting a powerful training event for youth pastors and youth leaders in northwest Chicagoland. This will be a great chance for youth pastors to grow their leadership cup.
After the event, each youth pastor will receive two freebies which we pray will be a huge blessing for you and your students: 1) A free one-on-one youth ministry consultation with a youth ministry coach to discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of your youth ministry, and 2) two months of additional youth ministry training and coaching.
In addition, several local area youth pastor network leaders will be at the event. If you have not yet plugged into a network, this is your chance.
For info and to register online, visit www.calledtoyouthministry.com/chicago.
I hope you can join us! If you have any questions, feel free to call or email me.
By God’s Grace,