I last posted this idea in my “Going for Broke” series, which offered some rather big ideas – perfect for considering before the year starts!

What if, mid-semester, you took a week off to let student leaders truly “run things” – whatever “things” compose your ministry on a weekly basis?

The idea is straightforward 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 college ministers 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. (Or if you really want to emphasize the delegation, go on vacation!)
  • 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.
  • Be sure to prepare your students well. And remember that the preparation may mean MORE work in the weeks leading up to this, so plan accordingly!
  • Be sure to debrief your students when it’s all done.
  • Prepare yourself: for a weird ministry week, for God to teach and stretch and come through in unexpected ways… and for students to come up with some 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.” 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?)