Hello! My question is, how should a youth leader act? I feel pressure to act spiritual and put on a mask because I have so many people looking up to me. The thing is, I feel stuck and not free to be myself. I’m quite the silly one actually!
You know, I don’t know how a leader “should” act.
I hate this word “should.” While there’s certainly a way to know how to be, God made you uniquely you because this is exactly how He wanted you.
Maybe it’s obvious, but God gives you permission to be you. God is always rooting for us to be more human, not less. That might be part of the reason He became one of us.
I would totally argue that your youth students like it better when you are yourself and show a little humanity. If you’re silly, be silly. If they raise an eyebrow, who cares? Life is too short to bury yourself under your fears, and life is too long for the exact same reason.
No one likes the guy who demands positional respect. We like the guy who draws in personal respect. I’ll probably listen to a guy who is bossing me around, but secretly I resent him. I’ll nearly always listen to the gracious leader not just because I respect him, but because I like him: and that’s a whole different level of respect.
There are way too many church leaders who act like untouchable kings and CEOs, to the point where they become unapproachable. It’s always sad when the church applauds their pastor because “he actually spoke to one of us today,” as if he raised the bar from poop to vomit.
At least half the leaders I know are like this in public: stodgy, stiff, proper, socially awkward, when privately they are very cool people. I always want to tell them: Just let yourself out to play.