a unique chance for students to use their gifts

This post, first written several years ago, is a great fit for this time of year – when busyness has a way of setting in…

What if you used a student – or more students – as administrative leaders in your ministry?

There’s a whole spectrum of ways to accomplish this, and I’ve seen many ministries apply this idea in some small way or another. But I’ve only personally seen two campus ministries actually commission a student leader whose primary task is one of administration.

One was at the Rowan University Chi Alpha chapter. There, every leader was involved in leading a Bible study… except one. She was (quite happily and clearly quite effectively) a sort of “secretary” for the club.

The other ministry? My own! To be perfectly honest, I never had the chance to enact the plan. But I hoped to assign one particular girl as “director of administration” (or similarly) – somebody to “whip things into shape,” as well as easing the load of administrative details. She was perfect for the role – she was uniquely skilled, thoroughly enjoyed such things, and was also spiritually mature (she had already led one of our small groups). I would have had no problem turning over portions of the ministry to this gal, nor would I have seen it as any “waste of her talents” to give her that vital task instead of having her lead something else.

Though we didn’t have the opportunity to live out that experiment, the pondering helped stretch me in my thoughts about student leaders.

Maybe this happens via one “point person” devoted to administrative tasks. In other cases, dozens of students might play small parts in helping the ministry “happen.” Certainly the formation of an “administrative” Ministry Team would be an enormous asset for many college ministries.

This isn’t “slave labor.” It’s ministry. No less so than teaching a Bible study or leading worship.

If we’re honest, a lot of us college ministers struggle in the “administration” area, yet for various reasons we’re slow to delegate this area to students. Yet unlike in Youth Ministry, nearly any task in our ministry could be handled well by a student leader – sometimes even better than by the college minister! Certain students could easily take ownership of aspects like communication pieces, visitor follow-up, phone-answering, purchasing, attendance records … even support-raising help, perhaps. In fact, some of your college students have already self-identified as potential Administrative Student Leaders by the majors they’ve selected – or by already taking up these tasks without being asked.

Some students’ giftings, talents, temperament, and passions point them this administrative-organizational direction. We have the chance to show them that God wants to use those things for His Kingdom. And we have the chance to help our ministry thrive all the more.

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