student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

Flipping The Switch

By Doug Franklin January 19, 2011

As youth workers, we want to see our students grow as leaders. In order to grow student leaders we think we must have a student leadership team. And in reality what we really want to do is see students start to own the mission of Jesus Christ. We want to see them internalize and live out their belief that Jesus Christ is real. The problem is most of our churches think about student ministry in terms of giving them biblical knowledge. What we’re now talking about is having them flip the switch from us building into them to them reaching out to their world. The truth is the switch does need to flip, but God continues to work in our students everyday. So the ministry we do each day involves building in the students but also involves helping them lead the mission. If we don’t do both do we somehow believe that the switch is going to be flipped for them in college? We know that’s not working. Statistics tell us that by the age of 29 only 20% of our students will still be going to church. This is very delicate work, because while we are building into students we must allow them to lead the mission. We must also be careful that we don’t flip the switch too soon for some students. Some of our students are ready to take on the leadership of the mission that Jesus gave them. Some are still learning to walk in his ways. We need to be very careful about how we challenge each student; we must customize their leadership development. One size does not fit all. So let’s help students flip the switch but at the same time let’s be very careful not to flip it too soon.

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