Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reaching and Developing Leaders for Your College Ministry

The more leaders we have in our ministry the stronger our ministry will be. The more leaders we have in our ministry the more students we can reach and build deeply into their lives. In addition, more student leaders can help free you up for other tasks and more of what God called you to do.....and live a more balanced and healthy life!

There are two parts to having strong leaders in our ministry:

1. Teach and model leadership.
2. Be intentional about trying to draw student leaders to your ministry.

One aspect of teaching and modeling leadership is creating an atmosphere where leadership is recognized and appreciated. This is done in different of leadership teams in printed materials or on the wall....recognition of leaders at the start or end of their terms of service....a special tee shirt given to leaders, etc. Do students WANT to serve in a Leadership role in your ministry? Does it even enter their mind to aspire to a leadership role?

Training of leaders is key. What is expected and how do they do it? Developing leaders is not simply putting someone in charge of something and letting them sink or swim. With no experience or training, the likelihood is they will sink and then they are done with leadership. Meeting individually with leaders on a regular basis for processing, evaluating, and coaching are key. Some College Ministers periodically offer some sort of general leadership training experience for anyone that wants to participate. It can be an on-going weekly group or a one time experience. Some bring their leaders in some time during the summer or just before school begins for an intensive training and prep time.

Are there ways you can draw leaders to your ministry? We learned some years ago that many of the strongest student leader types came to one or two particular Freshmen Orientations. We put even more effort into those orientations. We talked about leadership opportunities. Is there some place, event, or whatever that will connect you with students who are looking for ways to serve and grow as leaders?

Some College Ministries target Greeks and athletes as the leaders of the campus to develop their ministry. It is my experience that there are leaders in all segments of student life. I would suggest you not limit yourself to one type of leader or even the one that is already overloaded.

Finally, it is my belief that we must be about developing leaders because that is one of our purposes....developing leaders for churches after college days. Many churches suffer due to a lack of strong lay leaders. Also, in these days of cuts in funding to College
Ministry, one strong point is when church leaders see us developing strong Christian leaders.

Jesus it seems spent extra time with three of the disciples. The argument can be made that Jesus was doing leader training.

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