help student leaders – but not just the ones you think i mean (a fridea)

Have you considered building specific ministry inroads with the various student leaders on your campus? -and I don’t just mean the Christian student leaders! That’s this week’s Fridea for the upcoming semester (or even next summer):

Minister to (any of) the student leaders on your campus.

[Frideas are interesting ideas that might just be new to you – and you can see ’em all right here]

Obviously it’s pretty common for some college ministries to serve athletes, Greeks, specific dorms, and other campus niches. But there’s an interesting “cross-niche” that cuts across those various niches and plenty others: their leaders. What if you reached out to quarterbacks, Greek officers, and RAs …and the other student leaders scattered throughout the school? Whether you seek out one group of leaders (i.e., the presidents of all the professional societies) or open things up, you might have a lot to offer the student leaders of your college.

[Note: My main concern here isn’t recruiting these people to your standard ministry. While that would be cool and all, the point of this particular Fridea is ministry to, not ministry with.]

Many of us already know what it looks like to train leaders, because we train our own student leaders. What if we started treating other leaders with the same care? I can think of a few good ways this could happen, and I’d love to hear more ideas. Brainstorm with me!

1. Leadership training. I know I’ve heard of this taking place. Basically, a campus ministry (or multiple ministries together) organize specific leadership training – ongoing, or in a singular event. There are probably lots of good materials to help us do this, but Tim Elmore’s Habitudes have been well-tested in these kinds of settings. Of course, you’ll need to pray through the purposes to decide how overtly “Christian” this training should be. (Whatever you decide to do on that point, I’d just encourage you to avoid any appearance of bait-and-switch.)

At the very least, we’ll have served students by helping them lead better. But chances are, we’ll both build relationships and pique their interest about a God who has all kinds of wisdom they need.

2. Serving. Student leaders often have very busy schedules, enormous responsibilities, and a large number of peers they’re supposed to be leading. That’s a lot on the shoulders of a college student. As I suggested regarding professors last week, what could you and your ministry do simply to love on those leaders? And, if service creates bridges for relationship, then all the better.

3. Praying. In the tribe that is your campus, many of the “chiefs” are actually student leaders. How often do you and your students pray for these leaders (by name)?

4. Mentoring. I bet you’d be surprised how many (secular) student leaders would jump at the chance to be mentored by an adult, especially one whose vocation connects with the student’s major or present position on campus. Could you find Christian community members – on-campus, in your church, or otherwise – to pair with student leaders on campus?

I really do hope we can get excited about service simply because people get served. However, it is also no small detail that impacting these leaders could radically impact your campus for Christ. So let us seek the Lord about the why and then the how, and be excited about any ways He lets us be involved in the lives of student leaders.

(And don’t forget – this could be a great multi-ministry project.)

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