youth worker, youth ministry,

The Bad Student – Student Leadership Team

By Doug Franklin September 7, 2010

Many youth workers tell me they aren’t ready for a student leadership team because they don’t have “good” students. Do you need good students to have a student leadership team? No, actually I know of a few cases where the youth worker used the student leadership team as a tool to turn difficult students into stars. Many of our students who get in trouble do so because they are just looking for someone or something to rile up. They are stupid students doing stupid stuff, but leadership may be one tool you can use to turn them around. For those of us who have seen Bad News Bears, Red Dawn or any prison football movie we understand this concept. We give “bad” students leadership and soon we will see attitudes and actions change. If you are going to try this, keep in mind the following:

1. Heart
Check the heart of the students doing stupid stuff. Do they have real anger in their hearts or are they just acting out? If you think they have a good heart, they may be a good candidate for leadership.

2. Strong Male Influence
Check the students’ background. Do they have a strong male leader in their life? If they don’t, think about mentoring them into a leadership role.

3. Room For Failure
Check your patience. Working with students who are trouble markers means you need to leave room for a few bad days. Be patient, place them in leadership roles that will capture their hearts.

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