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So we all have expectations. Whether they are good or bad, we have them.
I feel this is the same for student ministry and the students that each of us have coming to our ministries. And churches all over will have stage time given to talking about getting involved and what the expectation is for a member of the church, however I think we sometimes fail the students by not placing expectations on them for the ministry they attend. I feel if we neglect expectations in our students, then our ministries will suffer and we, as the student pastors, could easily get burned out.
Expectations Pushes Personal Growth
I think back to when I was in student ministry and my student pastor gave me areas of our ministry to own and take control of even before I was saved because he saw leadership qualities in me. Student pastors and leaders need to be on the lookout for those students that can grow with a little push from us as a mentor and pastor. When students start to grow, they serve more. So start them out small and see what happens. Some of your best student leaders can sometimes be the least likely because they are just needing a push in the right direction.
Expectations Excel Spiritual Maturity
We all want our students to become sold out followers of Christ. I have not ever talked to or read something from a student pastor or leader in ministry that would say anything different. So we need to give our students expectations of what we would want to see them do in the disciplines of the faith to see their faith grow. I have seen this play out in students that have stepped up to help lead a Sunday morning small group discussion because they were asked and then months later the same student is leading a Bible study on their own with their friends not from church at school. It all started with putting an expectation on them to grow spiritually.
Expectations Can Move Students From Consumers to Contributors
This is the top area that I have seen students flip because of expectations put on them by the leaders and pastors of a student ministry. Students today want to be valued and when you tell them expectations and ask them to serve it shows them that you believe in their ability and what they can be for your student ministry. For me, it has played out in the area of a worship band. We have all students that are leading worship for our Wednesday service and they are part of the core of students because it pulled them in and gave them a part of the ministry. Students wants leaders to show we believe they can do more than just goof off and go to school. We give them expectations and watch the flip from just merely coming to your group to serving, loving, and promoting the ministry that they serve in.
How do you guys handle expectations of your students in the ministries that you lead? Have you seen some of this work in the area of expectations? Have you seen it not take off like you hoped?