John Walters grew up in Utah after moving there when he was eight years old. His parents are converts and one of his earliest memories is being sealed as a family when he was six years old. John joined the Marines and served for six years, including two one-year-long deployments. He served a mission in Peru and earned a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Utah. John now lives in Houston, Texas, where he works as a sales leader for a large oil and gas company. His greatest joys come from his wife Angela and their four kids. John has served in many callings, including as a Primary teacher, in a Young Men presidency, in several elders quorum presidencies, as a high councilor, and currently as bishop.


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2:30 Introduction to John and leading the youth as a bishop 5:00 It all starts with mindset 6:30 A youth leader needs a vision for what they are looking toward as they usher the youth along in their own journey. The youth program is a preparatory phase. 7:00 What is the Aaronic Priesthood actually preparing you for? 9:50 Having a mindset and vision of how you are preparing the youth for their future. John shares his mindset and vision for the youth in his ward and talks about the importance of articulating the vision. 12:00 John shares a personal experience of working with a young man that was struggling. Instead of focusing on getting him to go on a mission, he focused on him having special experiences with Jesus Christ. 16:00 There are some common misunderstandings with the youth program. What does it really mean to let them lead? 20:20 An integrative approach to the youth program. The four intentional questions:

  1. Know – What do we want them to know by the time they leave the youth program?
  2. Do – What do we want them to be able to do or skills do we want them to have?
  3. Be – What kind of person should they be?
  4. Experiences – What kind of experiences do we want them to have had by the time they graduate the youth program?

21:55 Some examples of applying the four intentional questions 24:55 As youth leaders in the ward you can build as much or little structure into the youth program as you need. Use the four intentional questions to help cover the touch points that you have. 27:00 John shares some examples of using the four intentional questions in his ward. One of the skills they have identified the youth needed was to be able to interact and talk with other people appropriately. They plan activities and conferences to focus on this need. They plan with intentionality. 29:50 Customizing the youth program especially for the youth in your ward. You can change things up. John’s young women didn’t do a traditional five-day camp because they couldn’t find a week where everyone could be there. They broke it up into five one-day camps. 34:30 Leadership is a journey and collaborative effort. It takes time to gain some traction in your new calling. 37:15 Meetings between the bishopric and the young women’s presidency. John explains what they discuss and focus on in their meetings. 38:40 How do you focus on the youth and not get caught up with other things in the ward? 41:00 John shares his final thoughts on how leadership has changed him and made him a better follower of Jesus Christ.

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Past guests include Emily Belle Freeman, David Butler, Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Reyna and Elena Aburto, Liz Wiseman, Stephen M. R. Covey, Julie Beck, Brad Wilcox, Jody Moore, Tony Overbay, John H. Groberg, Elaine Dalton, Tad R. Callister, Lynn G. Robbins, J. Devn Cornish, Bonnie Oscarson, Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Anthony Sweat, John Hilton III, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Blair Hodges, Whitney Johnson, Ryan Gottfredson, Greg McKeown, Ganel-Lyn Condie, Michael Goodman, Wendy Ulrich, Richard Ostler, and many more in over 700 episodes.

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