This past Sunday night, I got together with several of our core student leaders who would be back again next year to serve in our student ministry. We went to the world’s famous Bojangles. It is like the cool hang out for our student leaders. They adore this place. I agree it is pretty good, but not as good as they think. I sure hope they are not reading this. If so, I was only kidding guys.
They wanted to get together with me to discuss a few things. How about that? There is nothing more fulfilling than student leaders desiring to get together with me to discuss what we can do differently to make the Grove more effective! I am more convinced than ever before that involvement and ownership is what students want out of their youth group! For years, youth pastors and adult leaders have ran the show, and students have followed. I now believe in this day, students are ready to carry their torch. I truly believe I am working with students who can change the world! They are ready to take ownership of the ministry. Here are some ways to help make the student ministry student led but still under your authority.
1. Student Planning Sessions. We are looking at doing a beginning to summer overnighter. I took some of my student leaders to a camp, and shared an idea, and got their input before I ever promoted the event. They were stoked that I would ask them. They felt a part, and they felt needed.
2. Regular Student Leader meetings. You cannot expect for them to feel needed when you get them involved at the beginning of the year and that is it. We are starting to meet with our student leaders ever two weeks.
3. Allow them to plan and run youth services. Now, it is obviously under your leadership. They should be able to have a say in what is happening in the services. I have allowed our students to run the announcement time, sound and media, prayer time, etc. I am working at incorporating them to be more involved in other areas as well.
4. Trust them. They have to feel trusted. They will pick up on it if you are allowing them to have ownership, but deep down have no faith they will succeed. You have to fully trust them with task as they grow. Remember, someone had to trust you at some point with ministry!