Does God Call Introverts To Be Youth Leaders? – A Response
Posted on: November 30, 2015
This year the youth project I head up has a gap-year team member and it’s great! As part of our regular meetings we’ve been looking at an article from Youth Work Magazine and discussing it together. Our gapper chooses the article and all I have to do is read it (9/10 times I do!)…so far we’ve discussed Calais, Transgender young people and this week: introverts.
As we discussed this article on ‘Does God call Introverts to be Youth Leaders?‘ I found myself wanting to write more of a response on this, partly because the article doesn’t really answer that question and partly because I feel like there’s a lot to unpack.
I’ve been involved in youth ministry for over 10 years now and still describe myself as an introvert. I’ve worked with youth workers who bounce around constantly, who will get young people to do crazy dancing (initiated by them) and one who yelled Alan Partridge quotes down the office corridor, much to the confusion of the office assistant who, like Alan Partridge’s assistant was also called Lynn.
Youth Workers are often given the stereotype of being like ‘big kids’ who run around, are a little bit crazy and are generally an all round entertainer and, don’t get me wrong these youth workers do some fantastic work with young people but often youth workers are limited by their own personalities (and this isn’t a bad thing).
Let me give you an example…
I’ve done very little in the way of sports in my time in youth ministry because I’m not sporty…the one time I played football with our youth club I was asked to stop within 5 minutes because I was so bad!
However I’m musical and so have been involved in developing several young worship leaders and youth worship bands, encouraging young people in their God-given gifts for music.
The fact is, God has made each of us differently and has young people in mind who we, as youth workers will best connect with. As a young person a youth worker who bounced around and encouraged crazy dancing at any given moment followed by loud animal noises would have probably caused me to feel constantly uncomfortable yet, the Vicar who led our group was sensitive to the different members of the group, cared for us and ultimately saw something in me that led me to leading sessions and eventually becoming a youth worker.
Our gap-year worker (and I’m sure she won’t mind me typing this) may be more introvert than extrovert but actually this is perfect for the group of girls she’s beginning to work this and God knew that when He called her to do a gap year with us.
So, ‘Does God call introverts to be youth leaders?‘ – Yes! He calls introverts to be youth leaders as well as extroverts. He calls sporty people to be youth leaders as well as musical people. He calls film buffs, book worms, people who know everything about the TV Show ‘Lost’ and everyone in between because God has created young people who are all of the above and beyond and needs leaders who can best love and nurture each of those young people. There is no ‘one size fits all’ model of youth leader.