BY: MARC JOHNSON

I found myself sitting in a leadership discussion surrounding the topic of managing volunteer leaders.

Inevitably, the “elephant” in the room decided to plop down and make himself known into the conversation. 

“How do we recruit leaders?”

That question seemed to hang in the air like a lead blanket. 

As we discussed and listened to each other, a thought entered my mind and being too “humble” I refrained from mentioning it.  So, I thought I would share it via this blog.

The most important and difficult lesson I’ve learned about recruiting leaders is the subtle art of self-promotion.  I know, I know, we hear the phrase “self-promotion” and we gag in our mouths a little bit.  I’m sure every pastor has been in a ministerial gathering and met “that guy.”  The one who makes sure to slap every back in the room.  When you shake his hand you can almost feel the slime dripping off of it.  You know…that guy. 

Well, rest assured, I’m not talking about that kind of self-promotion. 

Allow me to speak a difficult truth, No matter what church you are in or what position you hold; NO ONE will EVER be as excited about your ministry as you!

So many of us genuinely want to be humble, but so often that can translate as defeat.  People want to be on a winning team!  People love to be a part of something that’s growing and moving and progressing. 

If you have a student give his life to Christ in your service, tell some one! Tell everyone!  If your church is even close to typical then, chances are, it might be the only conversion they hear about all year.  If services are going well and lives are being touched, don’t be afraid to tell someone - and the first person you tell should be your senior pastor.  He needs to know.  Even if he acts like he doesn’t care, he still needs to know!  Everyone in your ministry can think you are great, but if your Sr. Pastor doesn’t think so…you’ve got problems. 

There’s nothing wrong with letting those around you hear about what God is doing.  Don’t think of it as “self” promotion, but “God” promotion…(I know, super cheesy – right!). 

It’s His Kingdom and His church, but let me be blunt; it’s your ministry.  If your church doesn’t see excitement from you, who will they see if from?  If your students don’t see excitement from you, how can you expect them to be excited and invite their friends?

Remember this, when your church doesn’t hear good news from your ministry, they will infer that there’s nothing good happening. 

It’s okay to be your ministry’s biggest cheer leader!


Marc Johnson has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has pastured at churches of all sizes. He currently serves as youth pastor at Crossroads Church in OKC. He and his wife Talena are passionate for students and equipping the next generation to live out authentic faith. 

//Twitter: @MarcBJohnson

//Instagram: @marcbjohnson

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