Developing student leaders should be at the heart of every youth/student ministry. Is our goal to produce luke-warm, back-row sitting, come to church when I feel like it, non-involved members of the next generation of churches? Absolutely not, we, as youth ministers and leaders, seek to produce outspoken, servant-driven, equipped for ministry, God-loving, constantly growing students to feed the next generation of churches. So how do we do this? Well, can’t say I’m an expert, but here are some suggestions.
Student Leader Selection Process – Ideas to fill student leader positions
Youth Group Election
You can elect these leaders through nominations by the students and hold an “Election” to vote those leaders into their perspective positions.
WARNING: This can turn into a popularity contest, so beware of this. Make it clear to the students that this position is based on spiritual maturity, not how many touchdowns they threw last season, the coolest house, or let’s be honest…who is the best looking. Okay, maybe don’t say that last one, but you know you’re students are thinking it.
Another option would be to allow for nominations but then allow the youth leaders to pick the one most fitting for the position.
More and more, this seems like the best option. There have been times where those that have been elected simply are there because they said something funny before the election and won the popular vote. You wonder if they will even show up to the student leader meetings, let alone do the extra work.
This option gives you and your leadership total control. It becomes a privilege, more than a right to be in the leadership position. You are probably more aware of the spiritual maturity than your students…and gives you a better chance at picking the right leaders.
Your juniors and seniors become your student leaders. May I suggest some form of training and/or requirements to reach this position? Age may allow you to vote or drive, but that doesn’t make you a leader.
Here are some requirement ideas: Must have attended one or more mission trips, member of youth group for more than a year, consistent attendance, etc.
Student Leader Positions
Small Group Leader
If your youth ministry is set up with small groups, allow them to play a leadership role within that group. Give them assignments, allow them to lead discussion, and really push them to lead their group. Make sure they realize the importance of their choices from here on out as they lead the group – movies they watch, music they listen to, parties they attend, and people they hang out with, etc.
Specific Leadership Position
Secretary – In charge of attendance each time you meet. Could be in charge of keeping track of important details during meetings.
Activity Coordinator – This one has great potential. Begin by giving one or two events he or she can plan with your help. Then as the years go on, give this person more and more responsibility within the event planning.
Missions Representative – Have this person attend the mission meetings with you. Let this person be more involved with missionaries your church supports. Attending the mission trip is a must for this person. They need to be a leader for recruiting students for the trip and be focused on being a leader on this trip.
Prayer Coordinator – This person is in charge of the prayer requests of the youth group. Suggest them putting together a master list of requests to bring to specific prayer nights. Have them pray during youth services and before meals. (I don’t always have them pray, but I have them pick someone for me)
Write your own – can include lessons on respect, visitor welcome plan, edifying
What do you do in your student/youth ministry to train student leaders? I would love to hear more ideas that have worked and haven’t worked. Comment away!