going for broke #6: hand over the reins

This idea popped up as a Fridea a couple of years ago, but it seemed fitting for the “Going for Broke” series. This series offers some rather drastic ideas – they won’t fit every campus ministry, but they’re still worth thinking about!

When the new semester comes around, what if you took a week off to let student leaders absolutely “run things” all week – whatever “things” happen to compose your ministry?

I think that idea’s self-explanatory enough, but here are some thoughts if you need ‘em:

  • Leader qualifications still apply; students who wouldn’t shepherd other students when you’re present certainly shouldn’t while you’re absent.
  • Your “absence” is a relative idea. Some of you might give students the reins but keep a present, watchful eye. Others may choose to step out completely – to “go for broke” – and simply be “on call” all week.
  • Of course, it doesn’t have to be a full week OR you don’t have to be absent from everything. It’s your call.
  • Of course, this could also be longer than a week. It’s your call.
  • Be sure to prepare your students.
  • Be sure to debrief your students when it’s all done.
  • Prepare yourself: for a weird ministry week… and for a few great new methods that you’d never thought of.

Oh, and one more:

  • Don’t smile too much at your students’ challenges, and repeat after me: this isn’t revenge, it’s discipleship!

As always, we start with purposes, not with a “cool idea” that we then make up “purposes” for. If this method doesn’t match what God desires to accomplish now in your students and in your ministry, shelve it; it might come in handy later on. If you do give this sort of thing a try, don’t forget that it won’t only disciple your students, but it will give you the chance to assess how well you’re raising them up. (Scary, huh?)


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