Yesterday’s post, “The Shift Toward Calling,” continued my series from last week looking at major shifts a campus ministry could consider. These aren’t for all ministries, but they’re likely for some, and determining where yours falls means spending some time examining (and asking the Lord) whether our systems and methods are accomplishing what they could.
Another key shift – and this, I believe, applies to many college ministries – is a shift toward More exacting standards for student leaders.
How often would you say your students hear you tell them “No”? Do they sense there’s a high bar to lead other students? Even for “non-leader” volunteers, is there any commitment expectation? Do we hold students to the commitments they’ve made?
Would we be happy to know that we’re cultivating more students just like the ones we’ve exalted as small group leaders, ministry team leaders, announcement givers, worship leaders, and the like? The Bible makes it clear that leaders are called to (very) high standards; have you reflected that principle within your ministry? Has this biblical notion been obviously lived-out, so that both new students and “core” students see it in exemplified in the way you run your campus ministry?
The truth is, spiritual maturity and skills development aren’t the only reasons to “cull” your potential leaders into a smaller team. Sometimes the needs of the ministry require not saying Yes to everyone… or finding ways to involve people that don’t necessarily put them into the leadership level they were seeking.
But whatever the reason, sometimes the best discipleship you can offer a student is the word No (likely followed by reasons). If that’s not common within your ministry, it’s likely you need to make a shift.