leadertreks youth ministry leadership development program

Leadership Laboratories

Our philosophy about leadership is that unless a person can make real decisions and experience the results of those decisions, whether failure or success, that person is not practicing real leadership. We take every activity on a mission trip and turn it into a leadership laboratory. We have seen time and again students find they are capable of doing far more than they ever thought possible. Through our service projects, relational ministry activities, and level sensitive responsibilities we provide real leadership experiences for students.

Whether cooking dinner for their team, painting a house, digging trenches, or running a sports camp, students are ministering to those around them, and each of these experiences can be led by a student.

The LeaderTreks trip leader will work with you and your students everyday, placing students in leadership roles. The LeaderTreks staff will teach students leadership principle and tactics, ensuring a positive experience. We won’t waste any aspect of the trip. Everything from doing dishes to casting the vision will become a leadership laboratory for your students to learn leadership.

Growth Through Evaluation

The key to leadership growth and development is evaluation. To make learning stick we have developed a series of debriefing tools so your students can evaluate their performance in a positive environment. We want them to understand that failure is OK as long as we learn from it. The LeaderTreks trip leader will facilitate every evaluation.

Daily evaluation is designed to be a teamwork tool, a communication tool, and an accountability method for students in our leadership program. Placing students in leadership roles is a good idea, but having them keep each other accountable for their actions within those roles makes the LeaderTreks student leadership program different. Following evaluation, the team makes concrete action-steps that empower true accountability, keeping the team reaching for higher performance.


On each trip, we use our words to tell each other how we see God working in each other’s lives. We also use our words to challenge each other to reach our God-given potential. Mission trips are a great place for students to get a clearer understanding of their gifts and to discover which areas of their lives need improvement. We aim to help students develop individually, to give team members a true view of themselves and to celebrate how wonderfully God has made each of them. Each night, during team time we give away encouragement beads. We challenge team members to give their beads to someone they want to encourage. The idea is not about the number of beads given or received, but about the words used to give them away and helping others see what their spiritual gifts are. Encouragement is the key to seeing others reach their potential.