By Melany Gardner
Mar 05, 2017

Let Them Lead

Do we as Scout leaders truly let the boys lead? In Scouting or on Sunday we may catch ourselves planning, executing and ultimately undermining the leadership development of our youth. It may be hard to let go of some control and let them lead, but understanding that our purpose is in teaching and advising, we can guide our young men to become leaders in every part of their lives.


“As leaders of young men, our purpose may be summarized in this way: Help young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfill their divine roles. To assist in achieving that purpose, we invite you to consider the three principles…always looking to the example of the Savior.”

– General Young Men Presidency, Training 2017

It can be overwhelming to teach young people, but recently the Young Men General Presidency introduced three principles that outline the most important methods you can use to have success with your young men. They are:

  1. Be With Them
  2. Connect Them With Heaven
  3. Let Them Lead

Brother Stephen W. Owen of the Young Men General Presidency asked, “Why do we sometimes hesitate to let the youth lead? Perhaps we notice their weakness and inexperience, and so we doubt their ability. But the Lord sees them differently. He sees not just who they are but who they can become. This is why He gives youth as young as 12 the responsibility to lead deacons quorums …whether they admit it or not, most youth look to us for cues about how much to expect of themselves. So set the bar high, and then train them in ways that will help them meet our expectations. They will probably make mistakes; they may even disappoint us at times. But over time, and with encouragement and training from loving leaders, they will grow to become the leaders they were meant to be.”

The following video “He Listened, He Cared” is a good reminder of how we can treat our youth in a way that shows them, we respect and care for them:


“As youth grow and mature through their teenage years and move toward adulthood, the Church picks up an important role in this process of giving youth an opportunity to lead. ”

-Elder M. Russell Ballard 

You can trust young men to lead when you have trained them to lead. For most advisors, this is job-one, helping them understand expectations, teaching them the doctrines and training them to become effective leaders. It takes time, effort and inspiration. Then we must give opportunities to let them lead. Generally, it is better to have an activity that is, perhaps, a little rough, but planned and executed by the young men, than an activity that runs smoothly but organized and carried out by the adults.

We are training the future leaders of the Church. Leadership training is one of the core elements of every effective quorum function. Let them lead and let them learn by doing.

What are ways we can step aside and let the youth lead? Let us know in the comments.

For more training on this principles from the Young Men General Presidency, click here.



Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council

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