April 18, 2012

5 Characteristics of Student Leaders


There has been a growing observation in ministry over the past month for me about Student Leaders. It seems to  always be a mystery of how a Student Leadership group/team, call it what you will, really makes the impact you desire it to make. It seems that in some sense it does, because there are always those few students that make everything worth while. But then there are some that make it somewhat difficult.

I started to really think about this last night and I was hoping to get your feedback on this thought.

I feel like there are a certain few characteristics that are desirable for student leaders to have. Granted, I think you need to look at those student leaders in a little bit of a different way than you do everyone else, since they are being considered student leaders. Maybe I am off on that one.

Anyways, here are my thoughts from last night:

The 5 Characteristics Desired by any Student Leader: (multiple words can describe the points)

1) Selfless – A student leader should look to put others before him/her self. There is a time to take care of yourself but when in a student leadership role, that student leader should do the best he/she can to put others in front of his/her own needs.

2) Ownership – A student leader displays a growing sense of understanding of what they need to own or what they don't own. Meaning in a leading perspective: if that student leader messes up, he/she owns it. If he/she is really passionate about one or more things, own that gift and passion. The last thing a student leader should do is not take ownership of anything when asked of he/she.

3) Willing – Leadership is not always desirable. It is hard, sweaty, long and stressful. There are times when a student leader will be asked to do the things that aren’t flashy or sexy, but behind the scenes or where not many people will take notice. The willingness to be a part of those activities or tasks are never fun, but are necessary to grow.

4) Teachable – The hardest part about working with students (sometimes) is the inability to learn. A student leader should have a teachable spirit that is willing to listen to not just the praise, but also the critique. Knowing that they are loved and cared about, the critique and the praise will hopefully help them be a better leader in the future.

5) Inviting – The last thing you want to hear about your youth ministry is that it is full of “cliques.” The real last thing you want to see or hear is that your student leaders are there own “clique.” Student Leaders need to be the front line of making students and adults feel welcome, loved and accepted right as soon as they walk into the doors of the church. They shouldn’t be the only warm, inviting faces but they should be willing to go out and meet new students to make them feel comfortable and help newer students get connected.

What do you think?

There are a lot of different words that can be used to title those descriptions, those are just the ones that I had thought of.

What kind of characteristics do you hold to your student leaders?

How do you hold them accountable?

Originally Published: April 18, 2012
Category: Youth
Sign Up Today. Membership is free

Public Stream