What It Really Means to Be a Student Leader
There are a lot of hard working teenagers in our ministry. Ones who will do what you ask and not complain. Are they all leaders? No, well not really.
Identifying a student leader in your ministry isn’t as simple as looking at the teens who show up consistently and work hard. While those are important characteristics, you also need to look at:
THEIR WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RISKS
A leader isn’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Leaders are constantly taking the initiative to create. They are inviting peers who are different from them. They know it’s about figuring out new ways to share the Gospel.
Reward and praise a student anytime they take that step. Point out the win and encourage them to continue to lead out. Reward what you want repeated.
HOW THEY HANDLE THE WORD “NO”
How a teenager will respond to “No” will show you their level of maturity. The “No” might come from a parent, coach or even you. Leadership means knowing how to deal with the limits life can sometimes bring.
Coach your student leaders to embrace the limits that surround them. Show them that there is power in obedience because it shows faith in God. Help them see that responding with obedience can bring its rewards.
THEIR PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP
You want teenagers who are growing disciples because a leader never stops learning. They are constantly figuring out how to connect with God and grow in their faith.
To help your student leaders develop their faith, provide for them opportunities to grow. Take them to conferences, give them leadership books, and connect them with men and women who can model discipleship for them.
HOW THEY TAKE OWNERSHIP OF FAILURE
When something goes wrong, who takes the blame? Your student leaders need to know that owning the problem is the first step to fixing it. Help them see failure as a learning opportunity and not the end. If they see the ability to grow from failures, it will help them not fear it.
WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR OTHERS
Student leaders know it’s not about them. They know God’s call is to love Him and love others. What they do is not about being in the spotlight.
On top of teaching about servant leadership, you should be showing it. Make sure your teens know what it means to replace yourself, and share the rewards.
Student leaders are hard workers, and so much more. Do not be afraid to hold high expectations, but don’t forget to help them succeed. The more you invest in them, the more they will be able to take your ministry to a new level.
Question: What other qualities should a student leader hold?