I’m in the camp of those college ministers who believe we should vet our student leaders well. I don’t believe we should promote students to actual leadership (as opposed to service opportunities) based on potential success but on displayed character and commitment. Though I do believe skills can be on-the-job trained sometimes, I believe in a high bar for leadership in collegiate ministries.

That being said, I think there can be a variety of ways a student can show themselves ready to lead, and it doesn’t always come through

  • multiple semesters of involvement,
  • being a certain age, or
  • knowing the right people in the college ministry!

My theory is that in any large college ministry – and very likely some smaller ones, too – there are several frustrated potential leaders. They truly are spiritually mature, They have real potential – or even skills developed in another ministry, other student activities, high school, or a summer experience. God has given them particular spiritual gifts…

…that they’re not getting to use. These students are unknown to the right people, they’re a little introverted, they transferred in from another school (or another campus ministry), or they just haven’t “paid their dues.” And so that vital piece of their discipleship – letting them lead – isn’t happening.

Who’s slipping through in your ministry? Who’s frustrated – not because they’re arrogant, but because they really aren’t being used as God has designed them to be used?

How will you find them?