develops a teen into a bold leader
by Deborah Covert, Colorado Springs
I led Entrust’s Guiding Transformational Small Groups workshop for the small group leaders at my church in the fall of 2021. Among the attendees was one of the high school seniors from our youth group, Bri. Bri had previously expressed interest in leading youth group, but unlike the other seniors who have occasionally had that opportunity, Bri had not done so. I invited her to the workshop so she could gain some small group leadership skills.
Bri, and the other young lady who attended, Elise (a junior) did exceptionally well in a group of otherwise adult leaders. They were quiet and unassuming, but they paid close attention in the workshop and did very well at putting into practice the concepts they were learning, especially in writing and asking open questions.
I was even more impressed a few weeks later, when Bri finally got her chance to facilitate the youth group. For a novice leader, she did very well – she was poised, smiling, engaging and passionate about her topic. She had written excellent open questions and did well at engaging the youth. While there are certainly things she needs to learn, her first venture into leading was a rousing success.
More than that, I was moved by how deeply she had been affected by one of the practicums we did in the workshop. We used Matt. 5:13-15, about being the light of the world, to help the participants learn to develop open questions and used them in a practice discussion together. As a result, Bri was moved to become bolder about sharing with her friends that she is a Christian. When she facilitated youth group, she used the Matthew passage as one of her texts and spoke passionately to encourage the youth to be more outwardly expressive of their faith to those around them, especially to their fellow students.
She shared how she had never told her friends she is a Christian, too afraid to be judged or rejected. Studying the passage about not hiding one’s light but rather letting everyone see it helped her to step out in faith to tell her friends, knowing that some might reject her. One did in fact reject her, but others were willing to remain open to friendship with Bri, and one agreed to receive a New Testament that Bri would highlight for her with passages to read.
Bri even mobilized her youth group friends by encouraging them to attend “See You At the Pole,” an annual gathering of Christian students to pray around their school flagpoles.
All of this from attending an Entrust leadershipworkshop! I couldn’t be prouder of Bri and how she allowed God to speak to her, working in and through her in reaching her generation for Christ.