5 Tips for Developing a Student Leadership Team

First, you get a whole bunch of kindling, then start a big fire, make some students take off their shoes, and tell each of them they need to be a leader..

Okay, maybe it worked for Moses, but you don’t need a burning bush incident to get your students to be a leader.  Here are 5 tips for starting a Student Leadership Team:

  1. Announce or Don’t Announce – The small dilemma of announcing or not announcing leadership training being offered, I feel is a tough one.  Some youth pastors will simply hand pick those they feel are ready for leadership training or discipleship.  While others may want to announce it and see what follows.  Either way, this is the start of the process – getting the word out.
  2. Age Limit – While leadership training happens throughout the process of youth ministry, it is smart to limit the formal training to upper classmen.  This, hopefully, will eliminate the maturity issue and also allows the younger students to have something to look forward to in the future.
  3. Keep the Bar High –Don’t settle for uncommitted, only doing this so it looks good on their college application, parents made me be here, couldn’t care less…students!  Make the requirements high and KEEP them there.  Attendance at meetings and regular youth group times, doing the homework, and even behavior/spiritual development requirements are a must.
  4. Make ‘Em Earn It -Why not make them earn their way.  Make them interview for the position on the leadership time.  You may even want them to get recommendations filled out by other adults/parents/teachers.  Those that really want to be on the team will do these things and will be more likely to be committed to your team down the road.  This is another way to weed out the garden, so to speak.
  5. Blueprints – Don’t be afraid to plan ahead.  Find the curriculum, book you want to assign, compile notebooks…and the list goes on.  Work ahead so it resembles an actual training course.  This will get easier the more you have the leadership training meetings

More ideas…bring it on!  Would love to hear what works for your student leaders.


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