ideas all around us: “starring” your stars

As I was listening to the Texas Rangers game last night, the announcer noted an official addition to some players’ uniforms this week: Two stars, affixed to the jersey and cap of each player who made this year’s All-Star Game roster. The interesting thing is that they’re wearing this recognition all week before the big game. (You can read a little more about it here.)

And, since I’m spending the week trying to find the College Ministry ideas all around us, lo and behold, I was reminded of a really important college ministry idea:

We need to recognize our own “all-stars” all the time. Sure, we might highlight our student leaders when it’s “game time” – when we want new students to apply for leadership positions or otherwise “step up.” But beyond these times, I’m not sure most college ministers recognize and highlight their student leaders all that often. But I’d argue there are several good reasons to hype your “all-stars” very regularly – and some of these reasons are probably shared by Major League Baseball!

1. It shows students what they should be aiming for. If we want students to aim for leadership, we need to regularly recognize our student leaders in explicit AND implicit, direct AND indirect ways.

2. It encourages our present student leaders. It is not arrogance for our students to enjoy being praised for taking on commitments, doing their job well, and being an example to their peers. And, by recognizing them often, you’re increasing the chances they’ll be willing to keep leading past their present commitment, whether that’s for a single event or for an entire year.

3. It encourages students to join with those leaders. This one may be a little more complex, but I think highlighting our student leaders increases the chance other students will want to hang out with them. And assuming you’ve picked good student leaders, that’s a good thing!

In other words, if your students feel the small group leaders are all great people, they’ll be more likely to join a small group. If they feel like your service teams are led by awesome students, they’re more likely to volunteer. They’ll even be more likely simply to let themselves be spiritually impacted if they – like you – recognize that these are “all-stars”! The more you recognize the guys and gals who lead within your ministry, the more likely they are to have chances to impact their peers!

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2 Comments

  1. PC

    I would add a couple things:

    1. Highlight and talk about your student leaders in public AND in private – Making a habit of praising my student leaders with my wife and coworkers helps me create the habit but it also solidifies that culture of leadership you are talking about…it allows my wife to “be on-board” with my student leaders and it encourages my co-workers to praise and encourage my student leaders as well

    2. Doing this also identifies your leaders to your group – So many times over coffee or even in public addresses of praise for my student leaders, members of the group would speak up to say, “I don’t even know the student leaders are.” When your student leaders do a lot of behind the scenes work in service to their group (tribe, whatever), the tribe does not always recognize who they even are. Highlighting and praising them frequently in public also serves to identify who they even are.

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