Does your college ministry provide any short-term opportunities for students to lead?

If your ministry is like many college ministries, you’ve got student leaders over small groups, ministry teams, or both. But did those students – currently in ongoing leadership positions – have opportunities to practice leading before taking this commitment?

Secondly, do current leaders have any one-off opportunities to “lead their peers” or otherwise practice leading at an even higher level?

Maybe some examples will clarify what I mean. For current non-leaders, this could look like…

  • Being asked by their small group leader to lead the discussion for a week
  • “Owning” one specific event or project for the campus ministry, possibly with a few other students
  • Serving alongside current student leaders – perhaps “apprenticing,” or simply on a committee for a specific activity
  • Teaching (from the stage or, more likely, in a smaller “elective class” setting) about something they’ve recently been learning
  • Writing a blog or other resource, either about something they’ve been learning or something you ask them to research

For current leaders, additional leadership might include…

  • Leading the leaders’ meeting for a week
  • Directing a different project for the ministry than whatever they usually work on
  • Being pulled in individually or in small numbers to help with a large task, like helping prepare the weekly message or the spring retreat
  • Teaching from the stage
  • Writing (or helping write) curriculum for small groups

One of the most overlooked needs in ministry (and not just collegiate ministry) is creating stepping stones or midpoints between where people are NOW and where we want them to be. This is one great way to raise up leaders… or prepare/test/invigorate current leaders for even bigger opportunities down the road.