Since student leadership is really about discipleship, it’s important to meet with your student leadership team regularly.
In my context, I meet with my student leadership team 4-6 times over the summer (plus an overnight leadership team retreat). Once the programming year begins in September, I meet with this team weekly for an hour. Although each team chooses the day and time for it’s regular meetings, we’ve typically found it helpful to hold such meetings before or after one of our weekly youth ministry programs so as to save families a trip to and from the church.
At each of your student leadership team meetings, do a combination of things.
Always begin your meeting with prayer. This centers the team, focuses it on God, and helps differentiate it from other leadership groups teens might be a part of.
Then, take time to do a short evaluation of your ministry’s programs in order to hold teens accountable to establishing a culture of welcome and give them continued ownership of your youth ministry.
Next, do some kind of brief (10-20 minute) leadership training with your team. Gear this specifically to the teens on your team to make it relevant to where they currently are in their leadership journey. Feel free to integrate Scripture into this time. Some things you might want to address during these leadership moments include beginning and ending well as a leader, setting spiritual and leadership goals, and living like a Godly leader both inside and outside the walls of your church.
From there, move onto a time of planning with your team. During this time, you might ask teens for input regarding upcoming topics. Last week, I asked student leaders what specifically they thought we should discuss this week when we wrestle with the Baltimore riots, justice, and faith. You might also use this time to plan specific events. Much of our recent planning time was used to plan our ministry’s end of the year banquet and to decide what awards to give to various teens in order to recognize and honor how each person in our ministry contributed to it throughout the year. Another thing you can do during this time is to scan through your ministry’s roster and figure out who’s been missing lately. Whatever you use this time to discuss, make sure that teens leave with specific action steps. For example: Once you figure out who’s been missing lately from your ministry, assign specific student leaders to follow-up with each of those people via text or social media in order to check in with them, see how they’re doing, and extend an invitation to join you at an upcoming ministry gathering. In this way, upcoming ministry events become not just your responsibly but the responsibility of student leaders as well.
Finally, allow some time at each of your meetings to take care of various tasks your leadership team is responsible for. For example, at each of my student leadership team meetings, we take time to go through our birthday list and prepare gifts for those who have upcoming birthdays.
No doubt, this is a LOT of ground to cover at each of your student leadership team meetings. However, taking time at each meeting to do each of these things keeps meetings from dragging, challenges your team to continually grow as leaders, and gives them hands on responsibilities and leadership roles for upcoming ministry events.
Other posts in this series: