September 21, 2009

Youth Ministry Idea: Developing Leaders

Written By Cary Schmidt

Quick post for youth leaders (with the spirit of idea sharing) related to developing servant leaders in student ministry.

J. Oswald Sanders’ classic book Spiritual Leadership is one of the great reads on the subject. It’s worthy of revisiting on a regular basis.

The first time I read this book, I was in 8th grade, and my junior high youth pastor gave it to me, along with a personal assignment. He challenged me to read a chapter each week (not hard) and write a half-page summary of the chapter to give to him. I was challenged by his interest in me and his belief that I had potential. And so I read, and wrote, and turned in chapter summaries.

I still have those summaries, along with his hand-written responses to my thoughts. He read them, commented, and gave them back to me. I have never forgotten that simple but powerful investment into my life.

Annually, I attempt to do the same thing with our senior class. We provide the book as a gift (for those who want it) and the teens agree to read (at their own pace) and turn in the study questions. This year, for the first time, I’m actually having the students submit their studies to me via email. I read them, consider the individual, and return my comments and encouragement.

The teens really enjoy this. They all work at a separate pace, and of course, I sometimes have to remind them to work on it. But, for the small cost of the book, it’s a great investment into young lives and an easy discipleship project to work on in addition to other ministry efforts.

Do you have an idea for developing student leaders? Please share it below…