Simply Strategic Student Ministry #3

A major issue I’ve run across over the years is the issue of accountability of leadership.  This pertains to student leadership,  volunteer adult leadership, or even Mission trip participants.  What typically happens is an individual doing well becomes a part of a team or signs up for a mission trip or leads in some way.  Along the way, they start struggling spiritually or become inconsistent and you as the leader get to have a “Come to Jesus” talk with them.

During leadership training sessions I like to give my leadership an accountability form.  This is a form I use each “Season” (You can determine your own season.  Mine for adults is normally a school year from Fall to Spring.  For students it can be a different amount of time like Sept to Dec, Jan to April, and the summer).  That way when people sign on, they know it’s not till death and they can know if they can commit for that amount of time.

For the students I have set guidelines I expect the leadership to uphold too.  These guidelines are spiritual but also relational (such as respect of parents or teachers).

The most difficult time I have in student ministry is that I only see many of the students a few hours a week.  How do you know they’re being respectful at home?  How do you know they’re not living another life at school? To help with this area I have them sign the form and also have a parent and a peer that attends their school sign it.  This would give you permission to ask their parent or friend at school about the spiritual life of that student with the idea of accountability instead of gossip.  There is wisdom in counsel.  And challenging the students to keep one another accountable is good as well.

When you are a leader (especially in church) you are to be held to a higher standard when it comes to your spiritual life.  Student ministry is the best time for students to learn how to live a life at home, church, and school.

Oh yeah, on mission trips.  What happens if you have a student sign up, pay some money, even buy the flight tickets and then start walking away from God?  They’re still planning on going but they’re not walking right.  It needs to be communicated up front that serving others in the name of Christ is a privilege.  If they’re not living a life at home, how could they live a life on a mission trip in another country?  In the first documents they sign, there needs to be a clause allowing you to make a final decision without having refund non-refundable money like plane tickets.  And make sure their parents sign it as well.  No one likes being told their student can’t go because of their actions after they paid for a $1000 ticket that’s not refundable.

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~ by darthpastor on November 13, 2007.

One Response to “Simply Strategic Student Ministry #3”

  1. Good thoughts — you’re putting together quite the manifesto here. I hate to say it, but the high school years can be extremely volatile. It is hard for those of us who have settled into a less…. let’s say transient…. lifestyle to relate. It used to frustrate me no end to see a student break down in awe and reverence, obviously moved by the Spirit, and then the next day turn around and make an impulsive, foolish, okay I’ll say it BAD decision. And it would happen alot! Volatility — it comes with the age. But I’ve never thought of the ramifications to the extent you point out here — someone currently on fire for Christ committing to something specific down the road, and then…. losing that focus before the actual event. Interesting stuff — thanks!

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