Youth ministry requires lots of leaders. If you want your church or parachurch to reach an increasing number of young people in your city, then you will need more leaders to do it. Developing youth leadership is a top priority. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, trends in youth ministry show us that it takes more leaders to reach fewer kids today than in previous generations. I talk about some of the reasons why in my recent post, 5 Trends in Youth Ministry & How to Navigate a Perfect Storm. If we want to reach more kids, then we need more leaders. But how do you recruit, train, and empower new teams of leaders year after year?
The Master Plan of Evangelism with Study Guide is the best book I know of that can be used as a training curriculum for youth leaders (make sure you get the version with the Study Guide if you can). It was written in 1963 but it just seems to get better with age, like a fine wine. Here are two reasons why I think Robert Coleman’s Master Plan of Evangelism is probably the best resource out there for developing youth leadership:
THE BEST WAY TO DEVELOP YOUTH LEADERSHIP IS TO AVOID BEING TRENDY. STICK TO THE BASICS. THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU.
I used to office next to Richard Foster, who wrote the classic book on spiritual disciplines, Celebration of Discipline. Someone once remarked to him that they really liked his book and thought it was really good. He responded, “We won’t know if it is a good book unless people are still reading it 50 years from now.” Humble, and wise. Well according to this standard, I had to wait until this year to officially say that Coleman’s Master Plan of Evangelism with Study Guide is a classic, it is really good. This year marks the 51st year since it was published (in 1963). From every angle, I believe this resource is just as relevant today as it was when it was written. It is not cotton candy for ministry. It is a green machine smoothie for developing youth leadership.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP THAT TURNS CITIES UPSIDE DOWN MUST SIMPLY MODEL THE WAY JESUS DEVELOPED HIS YOUNG DISCIPLES
Here is the simple outline of Coleman’s book (my paraphrases). He explains what Jesus did to build a team of young leaders that turned the world upside down:
1. JESUS RECRUITED
Implication for your ministry: Recruit people God calls you to pursue.
2. JESUS INTENTIONALLY SPENT TIME WITH THE 3, 12, & 72:
Implication: Be with people, in order to know them.
3. JESUS WAS LOYAL TO HIS FOLLOWERS:
Implication: Value your loyalty to Jesus highly.
4. JESUS LAID HIS LIFE DOWN FOR HIS FRIENDS
Implication: Giving away yourself.
5. JESUS LED BY EXAMPLE SO OTHERS COULD IMITATE HIM
Implication: Demonstrate and model to others what it looks like for Jesus to be all you need.
6. JESUS ASSIGNED HIS WORK TO OTHERS SO THEY’D GROW
Implication: Take off the player’s jersey and start coaching – Only do what only you can do – Delegate!
7. JESUS CHECKED UP ON HIS DISCIPLES CONSTANTLY
Implication: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
8. JESUS REPRODUCED HIMSELF MANYFOLD
Implication: Empower those you disciple to reproduce and multiply themselves manyfold.
RELATED POST: Empowerment: 8 Ways You Can Increase Someone’s Potential
LET’S DO THIS
I highly recommend you buy a copy of this book. Figure out a way to incorporate it into your plan to develop youth leadership in your church or parachurch. Then buy a copy of it for all of your leaders to study and live out.
If you’ve read The Master Plan of Evangelism with Study Guide, please comment below how it has impacted your ministry.