student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker, team building

Types of Student Leadership Teams

By Doug Franklin August 24, 2009

There are many different ways to look at student leadership development. Many youth workers choose to use the team approach. This can be powerful because of the natural struggles that come from students working together. These struggles lead to tough decision making, personal conflict and communication breakdowns. All of these situations become a leadership laboratory allowing the adult developer to challenge students on many different fronts.

So what kind of leadership team is right for your ministry? That is up to you – there is no right answer. Just remember, for leadership teams to be impactful students need to be making the decisions and living with the consequences. Here a few of the kinds of teams I have come across over the years:

Ministry Leadership Team
Responsibilities: Oversight and Direction of the ministry
Ideal Team Size: 6-10 students
Time Commitment: School Year

A Ministry Leadership Team will partner with the youth worker to provide overall leadership to a youth ministry. Students meet with the youth worker on a regular basis and oversee aspects of the ministry. Students will partner together to oversee various parts of the ministry: welcoming, worship, message planning, events, evangelism, assimilation, website, weekly E-newsletters.

Mission Leadership Team
Responsibilities: Plan, Run, and Participate in a Mission Trip
Ideal Team Size: 10-18 students
Time Commitment: Feb-June and 2 weeks on the trip

Mission Leadership Teams play a large role in the planning and executing of annual mission trips. Students begin to buy into the mission and commit their hearts and time to seeing the place they will serve reached for Christ.

Event Leadership Team
Responsibilities: Planning specific events for ministry
Ideal Team Size: 6-10 students
Time Commitment: Seasonal

Event Leadership Teams are a type of leadership team that works well for a smaller ministry wanting to start a leadership development program. You can have an event team that plans a weekend retreat, outreach or bowling night. Commitment to the team is low since they can be seasonal.

Global Leadership Team
Responsibilities: Identify an international mission and educate and motivate others to give
Ideal Team Size: 8-12 students
Time Commitment: Variable

Global Leadership Teams identify a project that they want to promote, educate fellow students, and raise funds for. Global Teams have raised money for AIDS, water systems, orphanages, international schools, and numerous other charities. The team will find ways to raise awareness in the youth ministry as well as the church and even school. The key to making this work is to help the students identify a project they can get really excited about.

Small Group Leader Team
Responsibilities: Lead a Small Group
Ideal Team Size: 2 Students per Small Group
Time Commitment: School Year

Student leaders running small groups is a tough call. I have seen it done well but not very often. If you do this type of team make sure your students know how to teach and facilitate a small group discussion. You might want to consider having them teach middle school students to start. Training is always important for this team.

Matt Schulte contributed to this article

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