Americans care alot about rankings and who gets chosen and in what order. Did you get excited or groan at the NFL or NBA draft? Did your team make a good choice? You can hear the cheers and jeers from fans in the gallery. They voice their opinions at the choices their leaders make. What about you? Do people groan or cheer at your leadership picks?
Jesus had his own kind of draft. Who he chose and, more importantly, who he did not choose, tells us a lot about the team he wanted and the kind of championship He was playing for. Youth workers do not get to set the pace for the whole church. This pace is set by the church, pastor, or board. Sometimes your team is set by the same people.
My guess is, at least once a year, you get to have a recruiting day. An open call for all comers to try out. So, when you do get to do your draft, what should you be looking for?
- Servitude over Stats. Stats are great, but if the player is an idiot, he’ll only destroy the locker room. The number of years one has been doing something only means they know the system better than anyone. Time doesn’t equal a willing heart. Veterans can be a plus, but you may inherit staff that can actually hold back the team if they’re only committed to running the same plays they’ve always run. Look for those who are used to leaving it all on the field and are open to new ideas.
- Humility over Hubris There are those people in our churches who think they should go higher in our draft than others. There will be those who believe you’re making a big mistake by not picking them to lead out in front. Choose them lower in the draft. Give yourself time to watch them; give them small tasks, put them through a spiritual combine. Take time to watch how they treat people, are they available for small, behind the scenes tasks. Move them up the draft when see them in action.
- Expectations over Excuses Team players who are always making excuses why the ball slipped out of their hands, why they missed a block, etc. won’t make clutch plays when you need them. Look for people who have high exceptions of themselves and are quick to say “my bad, let’s try it again.” Those who are quick to own their mistakes will be more committed to the overall goals of them team and not just their own agenda. look for those who have high expectations of themselves and you.
- Potential over Practicality – In the 2019 Draft, my team, the Giants had the sixth pick in he draft. They could have chosen quarter back Dwayne Haskins, instead, they chose quarterback Daniel Jones. Everyone freaked, but me I saw what they were doing. I said, days before, that would be a good pick for the Giants. Pick people with potential you can develop versus ready made super stars who have their own ways of doing things.
God has a habit of choosing people that some people freak out over.
God chose the coward Jonah, the insecure Gideon, the shepherd boy instead of the studly older brothers.
Jesus chose fishermen and tax collectors over the best and brightest pharisees. This should tell us something about the kind of team we should build.
As you start looking around for draft picks for your youth ministry team, don’t fall into the trap of looking for only the young, energetic, and creative. Make your picks wisely, but once you pick them or God assigns them to you, train, equip, and lead them to victory.
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