Team Dynamics: Leading Beyond the College Days

October 16, 2019

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

This semester on Tuesdays we’re taking a deep dive into Young Life team dynamicsIf you missed the first couple posts, check them out here:

This seighth post in the series was written by Eve Sarrett. 

So, you’re older than 22 and wondering if you are being called to lead Young Life?

How you
answer these 3 questions may help you determine if you are being called to serve
with Young Life. 

“Am I needed?”

“Can I have an impact?” 

“Do I
have time to make the commitment?”

of us can remember when a Young Life Leader walked into our world. It’s what changed the course of my life when
it happened to me. If you were a leader in college, or maybe too busy to
be one…you may think you are no longer of any value to the local area, when in
fact, you are a huge gift to us.  

Instead of asking “am I needed,” you may ask “why am I

The simple answer is found in Matthew 9:37. Because “the harvest
is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

I don’t know much about harvest
time, but I do know that many cultures have the rhythm “all hands on deck” when
it comes to harvesting. All hands on deck in Young Life means no matter
how old you are, you have value in the lives of kids. 

A wise person once said, “Kids are drawn to
the oldest person in the room that makes them feel like they matter.”

Early in my walk with Christ I memorized Matthew 28:19,  “Go and make disciples of all the
” Then heard a pastor say that verse would be better translated “as you
go, make disciples of all nations.

Whether it is a direct command to
“go” or a lifestyle “as you go,” both tell me there is a responsibility to be
involved in the world.  

If we weren’t GOING, who would? 

God doesn’t limit who we can
reach for Him because of our age or circumstance. So few people are
pursuing middle, high school and college students on THEIR turf – that’s what
Young Life Leaders do so well!

Instead of asking “Can I have impact?” ask yourself “How
can I have an impact”? 

As an adult, there have been more experiences, more
ways for us to learn and grow, and hopefully, that means when we hear a student
pouring out their story, we are ready to point them directly to Christ. Nothing prepares you to hear that a kid has been beaten or neglected or abused,
but hopefully, our experience and time to grow in Christ prepares us to lean on
Him as we help our friends.

If you are a Young Life Leader in a town that
has both college leaders and young professionals, you also have an opportunity to mentor those
younger leaders, as well as pursue your middle and high school friends.

Instead of asking “Do I have time to make the
commitment?”  maybe ask yourself “When do I have time to make the

Remember Luke 9? Jesus took the five
loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and
gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After
the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered

If we trust that we are joining God
in what He is already doing, we simply show up in the lives of students and trust that God will
take what we give and multiply it.

If your job means you are only able to
make it to club and the football game, or to Campaigners and to grab coffee with a
kid, do what you can and trust that God will multiply what you have to give.

The issue
usually isn’t time, it is discipline and desire. Plus, every time you talk about your
experiences and needs with co-workers, friends, and family- they become part of the
growing group of people who care for our younger friends. 

However, do not hear me
saying “do as little as possible and you are a Young Life Leader.” Figure out what you can give, and then give that time to the things that matter for the
sake of the kingdom.

I used to think my job was to “tell kids about Jesus,” but
now I know it is to know kids by name- so I can tell Jesus about them.

An excerpt from “Gracias” by Henri Nouwen

“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to
walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball,
throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them.  It is a
privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of

Still, it is not as simple as it seems.  My own
desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some
impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings,
conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the
streets.  It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around
an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social

But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t
be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their
stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and
hugs that you do not simply like them but you truly love them.”  

If you find yourself in the store or on the street noticing
teenagers, pay attention to that nudge, mute the voice that tells you that you
are too old, and come join us!

Written by Eve Sarrett.

Eve lives outside of
Nashville, TN and serves as an Associate Regional Director in the Tennessee
Region. Eve has served 25+ years on Young Life staff and many more years around the mission. Eve and Doug have been married for 33 years and have 2 adult children: Cam and
McCall (recently married Kenta Nolin in their backyard). Eve is a club leader
at Ravenwood High School.

Join the Conversation

Sign up for our monthly email newsletter that keeps you updated with the most helpful and relevant content.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.