I want to speak. I want to preach. I want to lead. One of the challenging parts of being who and where I am these days is letting go of these desires.
If I am speaking or preaching, someone else isn’t. If I have led well, I have to learn to allow others to lead now.
I recently completed a time of service as a Coordinator of Youth Ministry in the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. At my final meeting with this group, my successor was elected in the opening hours of the weekend event.
For the rest of the event, I was there and not there.
It was very surreal for me. I found myself biting my lip throughout discussions.
One of the major emphases in this group has been youth leadership. We allegedly strive to create and leave space for the youth to do the leading.
Yet I find that we adults do most of the talking. When youth talk, they speak deferentially toward adults. It sounds, and feels, like we (adults) often speak with an edge of concern that if we aren’t active and vocal the youth will take off in unreliable and undesirable directions.
I have not found this to be the case, however. The huge majority of the youth in leadership that I’ve worked with have shared a sincere and deep desire to serve God and to work together.
We can trust them.
To do so, we have to let go. Letting go is not easy.