In junior high, I was a member of my school's volleyball team.
I loved being part of the team. I even enjoyed playing volleyball. Here's the catch: I wasn't very good. I just happened to attend a school that was so small that in order to field a volleyball team, pretty much every girl had to play. The problem is, though, that because I spent two years playing volleyball, I didn't realize I wasn't very good. I learned that the hard way when, at the start of my freshman year, I got cut from the girl's volleyball team at my high school.
I still remember walking up to the team list following the last day of tryouts and frantically searching for my name only to realize it wasn't there.
I was devastated.
So, too, were my other newfound friends who didn't make the cut.
That devastation has stuck with me and now, 20 years later, I'm very aware of the fact that I never want teens in my youth ministry to feel that same kind of devastation regarding our student leadership team. In fact, one of the reasons why I utilize such an extensive selection process is that this process enables teens to self-select into or out of the process, thereby drastically reducing the number of teens I need to “cut” from our team.
Unfortunately, sometimes cuts are still necessary.
When they are, I never want teens to have to frantically search a list to see whether or not their name appears on it in order to learn whether or not they've made the team. For that reason, when it comes time to announce my team, I follow these three simple rules.