Dec 01, 2014
4 Reasons to Add Student Leaders This Spring
Paul Worcester shares why you should add student leaders to your team for the Spring semester.
Growing a team of student leaders, volunteers and staff is essential if you want to multiply the impact of your college ministry. In my ebook “Tips for Staring a College Ministry” (download by signing up here) I devote a chapter explaining the importance of having a “Core Team” who will help push the mission of your ministry forward. What I did not mention was when to add new members to your team. Here are four quick reasons I believe you should consider adding students (including freshman) to your leadership team at the start of each semester but especially the Spring semester.
1. Adding a fresh batch of young energetic leaders to your team can bring new energy and momentum for the launch of your Spring semester.
If you did your Fall semester right you will be exhausted from your aggressive Fall outreach, following up with new believers, plugging students into community groups, and pulling off a multitude of fun events and participating in some life changing conferences. Bringing in a new group of young fired up students into your Core Team will add energy to your training meetings and the zeal will ooze out into every aspect of your ministry. We have discovered that young zealous believers can do so much for your momentum in reaching the campus. You never want to lose your passion and urgency to engage the campus with the gospel! This Fall semester one student who came to Christ last Spring was added to our Core Team. This semester he has set a new pace for our ministry by personally leading 12 other students to Christ! He is actually taking some of our long time Core team members with him to share Christ and people are coming to Christ weekly. Adding new Core members each semester will be an adrenaline shot of encouragement into your existing team giving them hope that we may just see a movement on this campus.
2. In the Spring you can take a risk by adding people based on potential rather than on a proven track record.
There are likely some students who you are not sure if they are ready to take on a significant leadership role in your ministry but you see lots of potential in them. If so the spring semester is a great time to add them to the team and begin training them with a much lower level of risk. Often by the time the Spring semester rolls around many of the major leadership roles are already set anyway. I am not promoting rearranging your entire ministry each Spring. I am advocating discovering and developing potential leaders who will be able to make disciples and fill leadership roles in the future. There is really no limit to how many people you can add to your Core Team. The goal of Core Team is not to fill specific ministry roles but to train an army of disciple-makers who will go make disciples on campus. There is always room for more missionaries to the campus!
3. New leaders have a chance to learn, take risks and fail because the stakes are not as high as the Fall semester.
When you empower students to lead in different areas there will inevitably be mistakes and many “learning opportunities”. Why not start giving students experiences leading when it is not your first big event of the Fall Semester? The spring is a great time to let your leaders learn from their successes and failures. Failure is essential if your students will ever develop into leaders. If you can develop of culture of encouragement, correction and coaching then your ministry will consistently pump out solid leaders. I remember my sophomore year the director of my ministry took a huge risk by placing me as a leader of one of our summer mission teams. He later told me the reason they placed me as the leader was because I was the weakest leader on the team! He wanted me to learn to step up and wanted me to learn from my own mistakes and victories. That summer changed my life. There is no better time than now to take risks by allowing students the opportunity to learn through leading.
4. It gives you a whole semester to train them and prepare them for an epic Fall of reaching freshman.
If you are going to build a growing movement over time you must reach a larger group of freshman each year. The first three weeks of the fall semester are the most strategic times to reach students all year. It’s harvest time! Since planting our ministry 6 years ago we have attempted some very aggressive Fall Outreach pushes. This fall we did 20+ days of outreach and events resulting in 1,200 interested contacts! This semester we saw over 100 students indicate decisions to become followers of Christ using mostly one evangelistic tool called gospel appointments! We have discovered that the number one factor in a successful Fall Outreach is the amount of well trained and motivated student leaders that you have. More trained leaders equals more impact.
Adding freshman to Core Team during the Spring semester is a great way to solidify their commitment to your group and helps them get ready to reach the freshman in the Fall as sophomores! You will be amazed at what these young fired up students will accomplish if you train them well, give them some tracks to run on and unleash them onto the campus.
Do you have a Core Team? Do you have a team of student leaders that you meet with regularly for training, encouragement, planning and prayer? We meet weekly with our team for around two hours. This is our most strategic ministry investment.
Who do you need to invite to join your Core Team starting next semester? Make a list of potential members to pray over and then meet with each one individually. Pitch the vision to them including the expectations for being on the team. I believe you will be encouraged to discover who will step up to meet the challenge.
Training student leaders will be your greatest kingdom investment as these students will be sent out to the nations and every sphere of society to make disciples. It will also be your greatest joy in ministry! “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 1 John 3:4