Students in Leadership?
You Must Have De-Plan!
Al Capone, the famous gangster said, “You need three things in life. A fast getaway car, a gun and de-plan!”
Okay… I don’t think you need the fast getaway car or the gun, but you absolutely need, “De-plan.”
Along with Peer Ministry Leadership and your student leaders, you need a plan:
• A plan tells me where you are leading your leaders! Spirituality, where do you want your participants to be twenty years from now? Answer this: “We are doing __(?)__ so that faith is lived by ____(?)____.”
• A plan for programs that include as many youth as possible. We all say it, “It’s not about the numbers.” I know! I get it, BUT too often this becomes the excuse. We need a plan that includes more, because we believe more need to be included.
• A training plan that sets the DNA, the culture that will infuses everything you do. This training creates a core of ministry people, with educated hearts.
• A plan where every kid personally hears the words, “We need you!” from their church. Words that come come face-to-face, heart-to-heart, that acknowledge, “Your gifts are important and we need you in order to do significant ministry!”
• A program plan that assumes all participants are ministers, living a life of caring, welcoming and affirming, that is lived every day, everywhere and in every relationship. Your programs teach this, give skills, and create experiences of this.
YOUTH MINISTRY AS LEADERSHIP / DISCIPLESHIP-PRODUCING MINISTRY
- What is leadership? What is a leader-producing church? Why might we want this to be our emphasis? What is the rationale for our youth ministry producing leaders?
- What are the outcomes for our participants’ lives? Who do our leaders become?
- What is the culture we want to create that permeates everything we do, our DNA?
- How do we infuse this DNA into our culture? How do we train? How is it modeled and mentored? By whom?
These are your students, who become your ministry team. Think of them like a camp staff. They are relational leaders, who model and mentor your DNA. They lead small groups, go on retreats, and are central leaders for most of your youth ministry programing. This is typically a group of five to twelve youth.
- Who can be on the core team?
- What are the requirements?
- What is / are the job description(s)?
- How are students invited and recruited?
- How often do we meet? When? With whom?
- How will leaders receive support and encouragement?
- How will leaders be held accountable?
- How will leaders be recognized and celebrated?
- How does all this get launched? Introduced? Communicated? What is the pace for implementing?
“We need YOU!” There are many opportunities for service and leadership throughout your congregation. This includes youth who may not be part of the youth ministry programing. Some are one time events or tasks, while others may be year-round. A goal for your congregation could be that twice a year every youth personally hears the words, “We need you.” A goal may start by including 50% of all your youth, but grow towards 80% or even 90%.
- What are these areas of service and needs?
- How are gifts and talents discovered? Developed?
- How are people invited into these opportunities to serve?
- Who are the key adult leaders overseeing the youth’s service?
THE CALL TO ALL
All your participants care, welcome and affirm others as a way of life. Participants are all assimilating your cultural, DNA as it is modeled and mentored by adult and Core Team leaders and as it is learned and experienced in your programs. A congregational goal may be to start with 25% of your member youth and grow to 40% or 50%. Beyond that, programs should be open and actively inviting friends of youth.
- How will programs be designed to give experience and learning to help youth live faith every day, everywhere and in every relationship?
- How will you help leadership model and mentor these qualities?
- How will you help youth see and experience faith lived beyond the walls of your church building?
- What are the tools you can give youth to live faith beyond the walls of your building?