Personally, I’ve learned so much more in my life from experiences, from being involved, and from doing things…we’ve all learned a lot of lessons in our life through our experiences. I believe a solid Student Ministry needs to follow this same truth. It shouldn’t be where students only come to sit and listen to the leader the whole night and then go home, but rather they should have possibilities to serve, lead, and have experiences that help them live out their faith in real ways.
There are many ways to give students opportunities to serve, led, and have experiences that help them live out their faith (service projects, mission trips, challenges, etc); but one major way I believe that is accomplished is through the use of Student Leaders…having a dedicated group of students who are serious about the Student Ministry they are a part of and giving them responsibilities in that Student Ministry. After all, it is a ministry to and for them, not me. I am leading and directing it, but the goal is to train them to love God and live for him in their lives.
Now, I’m not saying that Student Ministry Pastors and Leaders shouldn’t teach and lead, that is also very important and necessary. We as the leaders need to guide, direct, and teach the students in our Student Ministry. We have much we can pass on to them, and we are called to teach them. But we also need to allow them to have opportunities to serve and lead in different capacities as well.
There are many different ways to organize a Student Leadership team, and I’m not here to say my way is right and the others are wrong. In fact I’m not promoting my way at all, I’m simply saying that allowing the students to have leadership roles in some capacity is crucial to a successful and solid Student Ministry.
I have my way of doing it that suits the direction I am leading the Student Ministry, and someone else will have a different way of doing that suits them and the direction they are leading the Student Ministry they have been given responsibility for. However it’s done, my encouragement and challenge to all those involved in running a Student Ministry is to make sure there is some sort of Student Leadership set up. That will ensure that students are involved, engaged, and serious about their Student Ministry. It gives them opportunities to serve and gives them experiences that help them develop their faith.
…and just fyi, this same truth can and should be applied to our Adult Leaders/Volunteers