5 Traits Leaders Should Model for Students

Youth pastor
What type of character are you modeling for the youth in your ministry? (Lightstock)

I firmly believe that ultimately, as leaders, we lead by what we do whether we want to or not. We can be leading and speaking in one lane and living in another.

Little do we know that our students, over time, do more of what we do and less of what we say. So it’s important we continue to grow spiritually, following Christ as we lead others. It’s important that we are investing in areas of leadership that we would love to transfer on to our students and allowing those things to live out in our own lives first.

Then as we lead, teach and mentor, we will see those things lived out in the lives of our students. So here are a few things I want lived out in my life so they can be lived out in the lives of the students that God has trusted me with:

1. Perseverance. A lot of times God calls us to do things that challenge us to trust Him. He challenges us to say "I can" when we think we can’t. So we need to model perseverance in trusting God’s timing and calling instead of our own.

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2. Humility. We need to remember that James 4:10 says if we humble ourselves, then God will exalt us. We also need to remember that Luke 14:11 says if we try and exalt ourselves, we will be humbled. Being humble is a state of being and not a position. Humility is not selling everything you own and living as a poor person. That is actually pride, because you are trying to buy humility by doing something. We need to model humility, which is simply knowing that God’s grace has you where you are and nothing else. We must live that out.

3. Character. Your character shapes the leader you become, so your students need to know that building godly character is mission critical. You lead out the character you’ve developed or the lack thereof. We need to model godly character.

4. Patience. Our students need to understand that patience is more then just waiting. Having patience helps you lead and make decisions with balance. Patience is really a lost art in our culture today. Amazon.com is the perfect example. It offers a button called “Buy Now With 1-Click.” Just click it right there on the same page and buy it.

They want to make sure you don’t have time to think if this is a smart choice. They want to help you buy on impulse versus your purchase being wisely thought out. The faster we can have it, do it, use it, own it, see it, take it and eat it, the better. Patience helps you lead and make decisions apart from your impulses. We need to model patience.

5. Compassion. One reason why compassion is important in leadership is because Jesus modeled it. Matthew 14:14 says, “When Jesus saw the crowd He was moved with compassion and healed those who were sick.” There are so many takeaways from this verse, but the one that sticks out the most is that compassion has the ability to move you into doing the unthinkable. It takes a courageous, bold person to be compassionate. I can just imagine Jesus freaking people out completely as He walked through the crowd, just healing people left and right. We need to model compassion.

We can teach these things a million different ways with great conviction, but the real question is, can we live these things out? It’s not enough to just teach.

So, what am I missing on this list? Which one is the hardest for you to live out?

Aaron Crumbey oversees pastoral care for the high school ministry at Saddleback Church. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ.

For the original article, visit blog.simplyyouthministry.com.

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