Some of the best student leaders are… the ones who choose to come back! Their worth is impossible to quantify… because there’s so much they bring with them. Consider the impact of even a handful of student leaders — who, having spent a year or more working alongside of us — opt to return and […]
I was wandering around my blog archives the other day (insert nerd-related comment here) and I noticed that I spend a lot more time thinking about student leaders at the beginning of every new academic year (or at least that’s what my blog archives might lead one to believe).
I hope that’s not the reality — for me or for you — because our student leaders are our greatest human asset.
In fact, how we “manage” our student leaders during this busy season of the term will likely have a lot to do with how they are when they return from the Christmas break — and even whether or not they’ll make plans to return to leadership in the following academic year.
By now, many of us are full-on into a new term of ministry with students.
Whether we’ve been at it for 2 weeks or 4 weeks, or somewhere in between, we’ve likely been going at it hard — recognizing that the first few weeks of the new academic year are critical for connecting with new students. Our desire, as always, is to have the best start ever!
But if we’re not careful, we could quickly find ourselves hitting a wall of sorts.
Yes, the beginning of a new academic year does require a lot from us — in fact, many of us would agree that it’s the busiest time of the year, but it’s also the beginning.
I have very few “pocket speeches” that I pull out and use over and over again.
I find that every student is unique, as is their situation, and it (and they) deserves to be treated as such.
However, at the start of every new school year there is one speech (conversation is probably a more accurate description) that I seem to present over and over and over again…
When new students approach me about finding a place to lead (and more specific to our campus — to lead worship) I tell them all the same thing:
Find a place to belong first, then look for ways to invest your gifts.
Ready or not… a new year of ministry has begun (or will soon begin).
And the reality is that some of us… are not ready.
Many more of us find ourselves much less ready than we’d like to be.
Some of us find ourselves in a place of spiritual, emotional or mental distress.
We don’t feel ready for a new year.
Not for the return of students, the start of classes or the work of serving as pastor to a rapidly moving community.
I don’t know about you, but after the past couple of weeks I’m about done — yet today is the first day of class… so what’s a campus pastor (or student leader) to do? The reality is that most of us have jumped into the deep-end of activity over the last week or two — […]
This summer I had the chance to spend time at our cabin in the Catskills. It’s a simple log cabin bordering 150 feet of trout stream. I love to sit there on my green bench and just listen to the sounds of nature. A year ago, I stumbled upon the practice of stillness. I […]
Updated 4/21/14 Student leadership is central to much of what we do. Student leaders have the ability to extend the reach, and multiply the effectiveness, of our overall ministry efforts on campus. In a previous post I talked about 5 Reasons Your Student Leaders Will Quit On You. In a related post I wrote about: Signs […]
It’s hard to miss. Unless, of course, you’re not really looking for it. But who, when the spring finally comes, isn’t looking for signs of new life in the world around us? Sprouts springing forth from the ground. New buds appearing on trees. The return of birds and bugs, rain (not snow) and storms (not […]
Updated 3/27/12 It’s almost April, and for many of us that means it’s time to start ramping up our recruitment efforts for next year’s student leaders. And as we do, we know that there are some students who quite literally have “student leader” written all over them — in fact, from the moment we met […]
Updated 2/23/12 In a previous post I talked about the 5 Reasons Your Student Leaders Will Quit On You. Today I want to move from why they quit, to how they quit. We often refer to our student leaders as some of our ‘best and brightest’. And while this might very well be true, and […]
Updated 2/22/12 It’s quitting season on campus. Late winter can be a difficult time of the year for our ministries. Not just because of the cold weather, seasonal depression and a general lack of interest on the part of most students towards just about everything… But because this is the most likely season a student […]