Campus Ministry Matters

Moving Students into Leadership Roles

It’s the time of the year, or in my case right now, the time in this campus ministries existence, when students have to come into leadership roles.  Being a part of a new campus ministry, this is no simple task.  With 90% of the community being freshman, the challenge of taking them from being 18 year old freshman/ first years (I distinguish once they get their feet on the ground) to leaders of a campus ministry is a steep climb.  Usually this is a process that takes at least a year and while there are always exceptions, this will be an especially challenging moment for the ministry.

Another challenge is the fact that pretty much everyone has to take on a leadership role.  But the truth is, I want to turn this whole thing upside down and say that this is the blessing.  Sometimes we get very comfortable with having the same people who already have skills in certain areas take on leadership, but in campus ministry we move beyond that into a training role.  We take students, raw and fresh from the challenges of high school and we transform them into students who use some of the skills they already have and develop those they may yet be in process with.   We take their expectations of being fed the church and transform them into the process of becoming the church by leading in many ways.  Perhaps an example would help.

The other night, I had my worship team co-coordinators in my office for our weekly worship plan.  I mentioned that we would be doing Easter services this year and asked how that might relate to their visits to home.  He mentioned to me how it was a real change to perhaps not spend as much time as home or even go to worship with his parents because he might be helping to lead the services here at the campus ministry.  And it reminded me just how much I and we as campus ministers are helping to change their expectations and their roles in the church.

So my question for today… What do you do with these students to help them move into leadership roles.  What kinds of methods do you choose and how do you encourage those who don’t either have an expectation that they lead or they don’t feel they have anything to contribute.  I would love to hear from you all and know how over the years you are continuing to encourage new leaders to emerge and become the church’s leaders.


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