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Student Leadership Team Revisited

We all know that there are many benefits to having students in leadership roles inside our youth ministries. But listening to youth workers I understand many of you are frustrated with the possible downsides to student leadership teams:
•    Saying no to some student who wants to be on the team
•    Having students think leadership is a label
•    Students thinking leader means loved by youth pastor and not on the team means youth pastor hates me
•    Having to meet with parents to explain why their student can’t be on the student leadership team
•    Students thinking leader means “good kids only”
The list goes on and on. I know when we first think about having student leaders in our ministries we think student leadership team, but you can do student leadership without having to form a team. I call this Mentor Leadership. We can approach students with insights into their lives, share with them how we see God using them, and tell them personally we think they are leaders. We then ask them if they would like to join us in a leadership mentoring relationship. We meet with them every week or so and  give them a part of the ministry to lead. This type of leadership program can be very effective and it could fit your style better.
*Please note if you like this type of leadership development you are going to need to train a bunch of adult leaders who can develop this kind of relationship with students.
I am still big on student leadership teams but if you have backed away from student leadership because of the downside of having a team, just know there are other ways to develop student leaders. If you would like more information on Mentor Leadership give me a call; I would love to talk it through with you and if you want a resource to make this happen check out Mentoring Spiritual Leaders and Mentoring Servant Leaders. Both are great LeaderTreks resources.