youth ministry, youth worker, mistakes

3 Mistakes of Student Leadership Teams

By Doug Franklin April 20, 2010

Student leadership teams are relevant, powerful and necessary. Leadership teams are a great way to develop students because when students are on teams they will face communication problems, team work obstacles and all kinds of struggles that will lead to growth. I have noticed when leadership teams go wrong they are often because of the same issues. Here are the most common mistakes youth workers make when leading a student leadership team.

1. Studying books written for adults
Most youth workers don’t have a student leadership curriculum so they have students read books by mega-church pastors. This is not a good idea because students can’t relate to many of the topics in these books. Students need to focus on learning the basic leadership principles; this will give them a healthy start in leadership.

2. Adult volunteers who don’t get student leadership
Many youth workers will ask an involved adult volunteer to help with the student leadership team but won’t tell the volunteer of the importance of letting students lead. This will create a divide in the vision for the student leadership team. One adult will be giving away leadership and letting students fail and one will be rescuing them to make sure they always look good. A divided house will not stand.

3. No structure
Youth workers have a team but it meets sometimes but not always. When it does meet, it goes over a random topic. Some students leave after one semester because of sports or drama team or any other reason. The team is a mess. Without structure the student leadership team will fail and will become a black eye for the youth worker. Leadership teams require time, focus, intentionality and purpose. Make sure you have all of these before you start.

Have a question about these mistake and how to overcome them? Give a call, let’s talk. I will be happy to discuss them with you.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More