5 contributions veteran leaders make to your team

One of the things I'm most excited about this year in ministry are my leaders. We met last week for training and I walked away thinking, “There's one word to describe that meeting: Holy.”

One reason why I'm particularly excited about this group of leaders is that half are returning and half are new. There is, I think, a sacredness in that combination. Returning leaders bring so much to a leadership team. For me, the five biggest things veteran leaders bring to my team are:

Institutional knowledge: Veteran leaders know how things in your ministry are done. When it comes to your youth ministry, they have institutional knowledge. They understand your vision and have chosen to continue saying yes to serving because they agree with it. They know why you start with a game at your midweek program and why your summer calendar includes a mission trip. They know the flow of your programming year and are energized by it.

Wisdom: Veteran leaders bring wisdom to your ministry. Because they have a working understanding of your ministry's vision, they can be trusted to make decisions that support it. Veteran leaders also bring wisdom to the team about how to do ministry in your specific context. They know how to prep the curriculum you use. They know the best way to relate to their specific small group. They know how to minister to parents and which parents will need extra care throughout the year.

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Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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