When our student leaders commit to our program, they are committing to a full six-month “cycle.” At the end of every cycle, we launch applications for new student leaders and we give out renewal forms for the current student leaders. Besides asking if the student intends on committing to another cycle, the form includes a handful of other questions that provide us with valuable information that allows us track the progress of our students and help our program become more effective.

Thinking about putting one together? Here are some questions that I would strongly recommend to you:

1) What is the state of your faith? Obviously, it is important to know where your students are at in their relationship with the Lord.  Some students might be afraid to answer this question thinking that they might get kicked out if they aren’t doing great at that moment. Encourage them to answer honestly, knowing that you are there to help them along no matter how good or bad their spiritual walk is.

2) Recycled Questions. One way to check progress is to reuse questions that are on your application.  It is really interesting to compare their responses with what they wrote on their original application. My favorite question that we recycle is “what does it mean to be servant-hearted?”

3) How has the Student Leadership program impacted you? A more straightforward way to check progress is to directly ask the student how the Student Leadership program has grown or challenged them. Greater insight into how they have grown as a leader and as a servant can help you keep them accountable with the lessons they have learned and it can equip you to be more helpful in finding leadership opportunities that they would excel at.

4) What have you enjoyed about the Student Leadership program? Ask them what works. Instead of tracking the progress of your students, this question helps you examine your program. When the time comes for you to switch things up and refine Student Leadership, it will be helpful to know the strengths of your student leadership model.

5) What can we be doing to improve the Student Leadership program? You can’t refine your program without knowing where it can grow! This can be a scary question to ask, but the answers can lead to some really incredible changes. I love this question because it gives you another opportunity to empower students and allow them to speak into your ministry.

Does your ministry do something similar? What would you ask your students?

Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Director at Saddleback HSM.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at coltonharker@gmail.com or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.

Do Something Series Arc

Josh Griffin —  November 17, 2011 — 4 Comments

This past weekend we started a series called Do Something – we did something similar a couple of years ago with great success and thought it was time to bring it back again. Here’s the 2-week series arc where we’re hoping to take students:

WEEK 1: Christmas Shoe Boxes
This weekend we teach about the needs right here in Orange County. Santa Ana is one of the poorest cities in America, and they are our neighbor. We’ll pack shoe boxes for our Food Bank to give away during the holidays as people come in to get free groceries. At the end of each service we planned to take a group photo that would end up on Facebook and get tagged by everyone as well.

WEEK 2: Fallen Soldiers, Persecuted Church, HIV/AIDS
The second week of the series the plan is to have students write letters to the children of soldiers who have been killed in the war. We are bringing in a chaplain to speak to the students as well. After that we’ll highlight the persecuted church and have a guest speaker share about HIV/AIDS and what students can do to help in our community.

JG



I’m planning on sharing this little outline with our summer interns this week – trying to get them ready to move through a rapid pace of growth this summer. Judging from the first week (Hayward pictured above, 6 days in), they’re going to do just fine. Here’s the plan:

June (servanthood)
Welcome to the team! This is the month where you move from being a student and graduate to staff member. You need to learn the office culture quickly and expect to get put on a bunch of tasks that might not seem like they are worth your time. There is more significant stuff in your future, but these are good for you. Never be above stuffing envelopes.

July (apprenticeship)
You’re settling in and are well-liked. It is time to watch closely and make sure you’re asking good questions. This is the time to be mentored under veteran youth workers. Don’t just cruise through this month since you’re finding a groove, use it to be intentionally preparing for the big challenge here toward the end.

August (leadership)
OK … you’re ready to go. You will always need to be a servant and continually learning is critical, but it is time to be responsible for something outright. You will be given the riegns to a summer event or two and the buck stops with you. Be a great leader. Here’s your chance!

JG