I have mixed feelings when it comes to student leadership groups within your student ministry. Â While itâ€™s important to create leaders, to group them risks creating a click within the ministry. Â No matter what your feelings are on student leadership groups, itâ€™s important to nurture teens to be leaders. Â One of the best ways to do this by giving them a voice.
Itâ€™s with a voice teens feel empowered, encouraged and valued. Â Itâ€™s with a voice that you are mobilizing the next generation. Â To give teens that voice you need to:
Encourage Them To Serve:Â Actions speak louder than words. Â Not only does service speak loud but it teaches humility and love. Â Allow teenagers to serve alongside of adults in ministry and mission. Â Theyâ€™ll become visible to the rest of the congregation and community, and thatâ€™s huge. Â If they lead with their actions, you give their actions a physical voice thatâ€™s hard to ignore.
Seek Their Feedback: If you speak to teens you need to get their thoughts and input. Â To be proactive give them rough drafts of your message, ask them to comment of possible statements you might make. Â I do this by going on Facebook and messaging a few teens I know. Â Give them permission to share with you what they really think and theyâ€™ll support you in your leadership.
Brag About Them To Leadership:Â If there are teens in your ministry you want to spot light let the rest of your staff (Especially your pastor) know about their hard work. Â This will encourage coworkers to recognize the student leaders in your church and theyâ€™ll feel like theyâ€™ve been noticed. Â This will help them feel value beyond youth ministry.
Give Them A Platform:Â If teens are given the opportunity to share their faith publicly you prepare them for leadership roles in the future.
- Playing in a worship band.
- Giving a testimony.
- Small group leading their younger peers.Â
Are all ways of how teens can lead as adults in the future. Â Not only are you giving them a platform; but, the opportunity to lead in the same way adults can lead. Â This will show them how they can lead in the future.
When teens feel like they have a voice theyâ€™ll embrace your ministry more. Â Theyâ€™ll be taking on responsibility to grow the church and have it function at a high level. Â When they feel empowered they feel motivated. Â When teens have a voice youâ€™ve done your job of mobilizing the next generation.
How do you give teenâ€™s in your ministry a voice?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)