Tim Alford's new book - an investment in youth and children’s leaders

Elim’s Tim Alford, national director of Limitless, recently published Leadership 101 – his guide to youth and children’s leadership.

We caught up with Tim to talk about it.

Tell us about your new book
"Leadership 101 is a go-to guide for youth and children’s ministry leaders to help them lead their ministries to a brighter future.

"It’s broken into three sections – self-leadership; culture and team building; and vision and strategy – and into 30 bite-sized chapters covering various leadership issues. The idea is to read it from cover to cover, but it’s also a go-to guide so you can delve quickly into the chapters to help you around the issues you’re facing at any point."

Why did you write it?
"There is a direct correlation between the fruitfulness of a ministry and the quality of its leadership. Of all the factors that influence how fruitful our ministries are, whether that’s training, demographics, resources - the number one influencing factor is leadership.

"So I wanted to write something that would invest in youth and children’s workers because the quality of their leadership is the primary thing in terms of their effectiveness. 

"There’s loads of great stuff written about the practice of children’s and youth work, but there’s not a lot which specifically invests in leadership. I wanted to write something to help youth and children’s workers flourish in that."

What’s your favourite part of the book?
"It’s the afterword, because it expresses the reason I wrote it, and specifically why I wrote it for youth and children’s workers. 

"A number of people asked why I didn’t just make it a general leadership book, because the principles it covers will serve you well in any arena of leadership. But there was no doubt in my mind who I wanted to write it for. I wanted to write something for those people who are heroes to me, who give so much of themselves sacrificially, and very often voluntarily. 

"The afterword is called ‘You Will Never Get A Promotion' and it speaks about how sometimes in church we have this horrible unspoken rhetoric that youth or children’s ministry is the thing you go into to get yourself trained up to do proper ministry with grown-ups.

"I want to say what a load of rubbish. You might do something in your lifetime that pays more, that’s held in higher esteem, but there isn’t anything more important you could give your life to than passing on the gospel to the next generation."

What’s the most important advice in the book?
"It’s a point that I make several times –  the thing every Christian must build into their lives is time with Jesus every single day.

"Everything depends on my relationship with God – the temperature of my passion, the revelation from which I lead, the clarity of my vision, my emotional and mental resilience. We can do everything else in the book and sure, that would be great. But if it’s not built on and rooted in our relationship with God, ultimately it will crumble."

"The most effective thing anyone could do as a result of reading my book is build that daily time with Jesus into their lives as an absolute non-negotiable if they don’t have that already."

Leadership 101: Your go-to guide for leading youth and children’s ministries into a brighter future 

Thoroughly readable and entirely applicable, Leadership 101 is the perfect leadership book for children's and youth workers to refer to again and again as you lead your ministry into a brighter, more fruitful, future.

Purchase your copy


‘A passionate, compelling invitation . . . get this into the hands of every youth and children’s leader you can.’

Chris Cartwright, General Superintendent of Elim

‘A must read for anyone involved in youth and children’s ministry.’

Mike Pilavachi, Soul Surviour Watford

“This accessible, practical and wise book will help you to think and pray through every aspect of your leadership, and shape you into the kind of leader that children and young people deserve.”

Martin Saunders, Deputy CEO of Youthscape

“Required reading for every leader who wants to leave a legacy of fired up leaders who totally follow Jesus. Is there really anything more important than that?”

Andy Hawthorne OBE, Director of The Message Trust

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