I think one of my favorite things I took on this year was our student leadership team. A group of 20 all-in-core students in our ministry who have major leadership potential and working with them all year-long to help develop some of those skills (Check out a little more on our student leadership team HERE). These are the students whom I run ideas and events by so I know we are doing things students actually want to do. These are the student who run and plan our You Own The Night student led series. They are also the students who serve on Wednesday nights and reach out to peers who come for the first time.
A few months back, one of the things we talked about as a group was how they did no think they have done a good job of seeking out new students who come out on Wednesday nights. So I had a great idea. These are the students who have been heavily involved in our ministry for years nows. They know the leaders and the regulars… they have forgotten what it is like to be new.
We became new students for a weekend at a friends church and got to experience what it was to be a new student again. I had talked to Alex Beaverson, High School Pastor at Mariners Church, and we arranged for my group to come down for a weekend service. I let my students know they are to partner up and go be involved for the service and notice:
- How do you feel?
- Do you know where to go?
- Do leaders come up to you and say hi?
- Do students come up and say hi?
- Fill out all the things they have you fill out and see how they follow-up.
- Did the service itself make you feel welcomed as a new person?
- Did you know where the bathrooms were?
- How did you feel before service as we all were waiting to go in?
- How about after service was over?
I told them to be involved. Worship. Volunteer for games. Talk to leaders. Ask questions.
After they got to experience this, we all went to lunch at In-N-Out (sorry East Coast people, we pray for you daily) to debrief. If you have a good relationship with the pastor, invite them. Alex and his team came and joined us and got to sit down with our student leaders and get feedback as well in order to help improve their experience for new people.
It’s such a simple thing but powerful. I believe our students got to remember what it was like to be new again and their eyes were opened in hopes on Wednesday nights they are more willing and challenged to go find new students to make them feel welcomed. Their feedback was super interesting and helpful.
This was towards the end of the year so we made this a fun outing as a group to wind down this season as a student leadership team. It was so fun for all and super helpful as well.
I highly suggest it for your group as well.
If you want quality student leadership material, DYM has a ton and some of the best. Check it out HERE.