Strong ministry leadership is foundational to success.
Informed, well-trained, and intentionally supported student leadership is essential to magnifying the power of, and exponentially expanding the reach of, our ministry on campus.
Student leadership isn’t just important for our ministry efforts, but it’s an incredible opportunity for students to develop their gifts, explore their passions, and serve Christ in their campus community.
But good student leaders, and good student leadership, don’t just happen.
In fact, there are five keys that we need to offer students in order for them to reach their full potential as leaders this year:
Vision — Successful student leaders want (and need) to know what their purpose is — and how their purpose fits into the larger purpose, and mission, of our ministry. It is our responsibility to clearly communicate the vision for both — our ministry and each student leader’s role in helping to fulfill that mission.
Many of our students are “big-picture” dreamers, and will greatly value the opportunity to hear from us how God is leading us (as those called to this ministry on this campus)
Passion — The successful student leader will have consistent passion for the work they have been called to. This includes a desire, and willingness to prioritize their leadership role and responsibilities as appropriate. It also involves having a teachable spirit — and a desire to continue to learn and grow in ways that will continue to inform their work as a leader, as well as a their formation as a young believer.
Instruction — Successful student leaders need to be invested in, in ongoing and purposeful ways. They come to our ministries — and their leadership roles — with some raw talent and a lot of potential. They are a work-in-progress — and need to be poured into over the course of their season of leadership — in ways that allow them to flourish.
Instruction also entails student leaders being consistent and intentional in their personal pursuit of Christ. They cannot lead students to places they are not themselves. We need to encourage them, and provide spaces for them to engage and explore their faith (as individuals and as leaders), such that their leadership is informed and fueled by their faith in Christ — and not something else.
Freedom — The successful student leader needs to be freed up to lead. They can’t be micro-managed. They want (and need) to be trusted to do the work of leading — even if that means failing from time to time. This is where students will learn about responsibility as a leader.
Freedom does not mean that we send them out, without further connection or investment, but that we allow them to lead out of their strengths.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that students represent you and your ministry, so freedom can’t be just given willy-nilly either. Accountability is the name of the game.
Accountability — Successful student leaders will need good levels of accountability. Some students will crave this, others may run from it. Some leaders will need more consistent accountability than others. Ultimately, ALL leaders will need to be held accountable for their roles and responsibilities.
So those are 5 keys I offer to you.
What would you add to this list?