I love it when it "clicks". There is no better feeling for a youth pastor than when the team of volunteers catch on and realize that they are the youth ministers. It's fantastic! The best!
Recently our middle school girl POD (small group) leaders got together and planned a non-sleepover pajama party for the middle school girls. The leaders planned the whole thing. All I had to do was give them a key to the building. They showed a movie, made duct tape crafts, ate pizza, popcorn and other goodies. The girls had a blast and enjoyed having an activity just for middle school girls, they even brought some guests.
How does this happen?
Time. It takes time for implementing vision of moving from "chaperones", leaders to ministers. Time to share again and again, "Hey, you are the youth ministers."
Culture. You have to build a culture that promotes and encourages the youth leaders to minister to the students. We build into our weekly youth group gathering a time where the adult leaders can hang out with students and have conversations.
Openness. Others have great ideas and can do awesome ministry. It doesn't all have to come from you as the youth pastor. Utilize the pool of brains and creativity you have on your team.
Trust. Trust your team. No one likes to be micro managed. Trust your team and when someone has a good idea then turn them loose and let them get it done. If it goes great then praise them and pat them on the back and thank them. If it has some hiccups and glitches help them to learn from it so next time the event goes great.
Do you have any other suggestions to empower your youth ministry team to lead?