Sometimes you are going to be called on to rise to the occasion. To take a few swings in the Major League. To step up to the plate. To pinch hit. Maybe you are asked to speak in big church while the senior pastor is on vacation. Guest post on a highly-trafficked blog. Contribute to a new book or resource. Guest lecture at a local Bible college. Teach a workshop at a denominational gathering.

Something outside of your normal tasks and wheelhouse is handed to you. YOU! You know it is going to challenge you like nothing before, so you rise to the occasion. You furiously work harder, study more and deliver what is asked knowing there isn’t margin for failure and giving up isn’t an option. In the end, it wasn’t easy but you delivered. You totally came though – people loved your sermon, the discussions were incredible after your class, the article turned out great.

So rise to the occasion this week. Be the guy who comes through. When you are called on to do something above your pay grade this week, stand and deliver. But when you go back to normal life, be careful.

  • Be careful the applause didn’t go to your head
  • Be careful that you don’t ignore menial tasks
  • Be careful not to become “that guy”
  • Be careful not to undermine your senior pastor
  • Be careful not to short-change what you are actually paid/called to do

The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!‘ -Matthew 25:23



This week we’re focusing on student leaders. If you are creating a student leadership program in your group, here’s a quick punch list with some basic ideas of what to avoid and what to include instead:kurt

DON’T only ask the shiny students to join.
Too often the leadership of a youth group is made up of the “chosen ones”—the shiny kids who show up at everything or squeak the loudest. Instead, consider that one kid who is so close, yet so far away. What about the student who is totally on the outside, looking in? Instead of just obvious leaders, think outside the expected and see what happens.

DON’T let your meetings pull them out another night of the week.
Often times, being part of the student leadership program requires an extra night out every week. The result is that many students miss out on it because they can’t give up another night. Instead, consider meeting on an occasional basis unattached to core programs (like youth group) so your students can be focused. We prefer once a month for a few hours, which gives us plenty of time with them but without an ongoing weekly commitment.

DON’T be afraid to give them big stuff.
Student leaders need to be challenged. The quickest way to disillusion these key teenagers is to be unprepared for your time together or waste their time with piddly projects. Instead, give them the teaching calendar. Let them plan services. Challenge them to come up with next quarter’s youth group calendar. Let them run wild.

DON’T be the only voice challenging them.
Many youth workers see the student leadership program as their chance to really “pour into” their students. While this may be true, you are robbing them if you insist you’re the only/best leadership voice they are hearing.

Instead, bring in an outside speaker every so often—the manager of the local Chick-Fil-A would be great (you might get some free food out of it, too) or even go on a field trip with your core students to a local business or spread them out to visit a few churches and report back about their experience.

What other student leadership DON’Ts would you share?

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.