It’s no secret to anyone that Student Pastors have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Teenagers are going through many changes in this phase of life and they are trying every day to determine what and who they want to be. We have a huge role in shaping those decisions and the paths they will take. Your students may have already gone back to school, or they may be starting in the next few weeks. This is a perfect opportunity to sit down with your leaders/volunteers and lay the ground work for your student ministry this school year. Getting ahead of the game will really help things run smoothly. Here are some key things you’ll need to keep in mind when shaping your leadership team for student ministry this year:
- Recruit a Team – Youth Pastors can be superheroes, but they can only do so much without sidekicks. A volunteer base and a core group of youth leaders can really make or break your ministry. Your job is to oversee the growth and monitor what goes on from day to day with your students. The job of your team is to help carry out the tasks that make that happen. Your leadership team may consist of parents or young adults in the church who feel a calling for teenagers. The reality is that it doesn’t matter who they are or where they come from, as long as they have a heart for seeing students have an encounter with Jesus. That’s all that matters anyway, right?
- Cast a Vision – If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my six years of youth ministry, it’s this: it is nearly impossible to effectively lead a ministry or a team if you have no vision. If your leaders and volunteers believe in you and the calling on your life, they will get behind the vision you set. So, what is your vision? Where do you see your student ministry in two years? Five years? Ten years? Vision casting has an incredible way of stirring excitement in your leadership team. If they know where you want to go, and more importantly where you feel like God is leading the ministry, they will jump on board.
- Create a Plan – Casting a vision is awesome, but a vision without a plan is just a cool idea of what could be. How are you going to make the vision for your ministry a reality? How are you going to be sure that you are living out the calling God has placed on you and your student ministry? If you don’t know where to begin, start small. Set realistic goals and timelines for growth. You should aim to create several short-term plans and create a long-term plan for where you see the ministry several years down the road. Creating a plan holds you accountable for following through on the vision.
Leading a team and a group of teenagers is not for the weak at heart. God has placed an incredible responsibility on your shoulders, and it should not be taken lightly. Take some time to pray and talk to God about where He sees you and your ministry going. You may be surprised what He has to say! No matter what is thrown your way, remember to keep pressing in and leaning into God. He will order your steps and your ministry will be blessed because of your obedience. Just trust Him!