a week of assessment: finding the frustrated leaders

This week I’m posting some key assessments that might be helpful at this point in the semester!

I’m in the camp of those who believe college ministers should vet 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 trained on-the-job sometimes, I believe in a high bar for leadership in collegiate ministries.

So how do we find these leaders? It’s not good if we only find leaders who…

  • have multiple semesters of involvement,
  • have reached a certain age, or
  • know 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? I understand the need to get to know potential leaders (don’t forget the first paragraph above!) and let them prove their character. But that can happen in a lot of environments that aren’t “obvious.”

How are you finding these leaders?

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