Shepherding in Youth Ministry – Part 2

By Shane Thacker November 2, 2021

In Part 1, we talked about the importance of finding the “right leader” in youth ministry. It may not be who you’d expect, nor do they have the same skills you do, but the “right leader” is the one you invest in and develop.

So you’ve found the right leaders. How do you raise up student leaders? We can’t possibly expect ourselves to have an impact for Christ with every single student. For me, I split out our youth group into family groups. After our midweek sermon, the “right leaders” lead their own little group of students in a weekly group discussion. But these youth leaders of mine are challenged do far more than that. They’re going to their ball games, watching their recitals, inviting them out to coffee after church; simply doing anything they can to get involved in their lives. When this takes place, it redefines youth ministry in a dynamic way. Our youth leaders aren’t just there for fun; they’re shepherds of their flock. 

Youth leaders area shepherds of their flock

How can you raise up student leaders in your own youth group? Here are 3 things you can do this week to get started

Get the “right leaders” to intentionally lead the right things.

As I said, they’re not just there to have fun; they’re there to shepherd. When their small group of students are fighting a spiritual battle, if they’re the “right leaders”, they’ll lead the right things and pray with them, lead and guide them to Christ in the midst of the storm, and show them how to respond regardless of how bad things get. 

Get the “right leaders” to intentionally engage their students in the right ways.

They learn and grow far more in the church if their group leader will engage them outside of church. What they do doesn’t matter; it’s all about getting to know each other better and building a relationship of trust. When times get tough, they’ll be far more likely to turn to their group leader for help, and that’s when they can point them continually to Christ.

Get the “right leaders” to intentionally give opportunities for students to lead.

When a leader gets to know their students better, they’ll start to learn what they’re passionate about. When they learn what they’re passionate about, they’ll give them opportunities to honor God with their passions. When they give them opportunities to honor God with their passions, they’ll learn to lead with their passions too. They’ll become students who lead!

Raising Up Student Leaders

The way we raise up student leaders is by raising up adult leaders to raise up student leaders. If you can do this, you’ll redefine your youth ministry, it’s going to come alive and it’s going to impact the next generation of LEADERS in the church! Let’s let God move through ourselves, our leaders, and our students; let’s leave a legacy that leaves a legacy in the church!

About the Author

Shane Thacker

Shane Thacker is the Youth Pastor at Inola Christian Church in Oklahoma. His mission is to develop content that points people to Jesus. He believes that if leaders gravitate to the right foundation for a healthy, sustainable ministry, it’s going to produce healthy leaders and healthy churches, leading people in their community effectively and in unity for…  Read More