One of my favorite parts of working in youth ministry is seeing students step up to the plate and begin to serve. I love watching jr. high and high school students discover their gifts and then use them to serve the church in a variety of different ways. At IGNITION (Daybreak Church’s Jr. High Ministry) one of our core values is having students lead the ministry. We really value having student-led ministry teams, and a great set of student leaders.
On a typical weekend service, we have students on stage giving announcements, running the tech booth, greeting at the doors, leading worship and more! It is so cool to see, and the best part is, when students LEAD…they don’t LEAVE! The truth is that when students begin serving in your youth ministry it creates a real sense of ownership in our teenagers. They stop sitting and soaking and start leading and learning.
So how do you shift from a environment where the staff & volunteers run everything (where students are spectators) to an environment where your teenagers help lead (where students are servants)?
START SMALL AND TRUST BIG! First things first. You need to start small. Begin by having some of your students serve in little ways. Ask a couple of students to help set up chairs before your service begins. Have a few students pass out pens and outlines as other students arrive. Maybe you could call up a student in the middle of the week and ask him/her to go pick up supplies with you for your youth ministries’ mid-week or weekend program. You don’t have to create a complicated student leadership strategy right away. Just start small and trust that God will start to develop a servant’s heart in your students lives.
DREAM BIG AND PLAN SMALL. We all want our students to grow and to take that “next step” towards spiritual maturity. One of the most effective ways for students to grow spiritually is to begin to serve in ministry. Take some time to dream big and ask God what His vision is for your youth ministry. Then ask the question, “how can our students help us achieve the goal/dream that God has given us?” Start to create a strategy to develop your students into servant leaders. Once you have your strategy mapped out, take it one step at a time! Don’t try and do something in 2 weeks that will probably take 2 years. While it might be ideal to have students running a ton of elements in your programs, don’t rush the process. Again, start small and realize that the character quality of servanthood doesn’t develop overnight!
Are you a youth worker on a small budget? If you don’t have someone to make graphics/videos for your services, you might want to consider grabbing a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. For a cheap subscription you can use all the Adobe software without having to purchase the entire suite.
Here’s my idea:
1) Get an adobe creative cloud subscription
2) Grab a student in your youth ministry who loves creative arts
3) have them come in during the week and design you your graphics/videos/etc. while they get to learn on the best software out there.
Could be a huge win for your youth group & a great way to plug students into ministry. Let me know your thoughts!
New Student Leader:
I just wanted to let you know that I'm super excited about being involved as a student leader and I can't wait to see what God has in store for Saddleback Orange's youth ministry! For the past few months I feel like God has been telling me that I need to step up and get involved in the church, so this is really awesome. I can't wait to get to know everyone better next Sunday!