20 Things I’ve learned in Student Ministry

1. One leadership style isn’t effective for everyone. We’ve got to be willing to change it up depending on the person.
2. Form a parent leadership team. Ministry staff alone can’t be your only sounding board.
3. Over communicate. When you think you have, communicate more.
4. Gentleness and grace should be evident to all (Philippians 4).
5. Ask one or two trusted people to critique your messages (or even handpick a team). Other than that … don’t ask. People can wear you down.
6. When you make a decision, explain why you made that decision. Don’t assume people automatically understand. This builds trust.
7. Don’t get involved in staff/church drama. Focus on what God’s called you to do and pray everyone else does too!
8. Sarcasm hurts. It’s not funny because someone is always the butt of your joke.
9. Address conflict right away. Don’t let things linger.
10. Let people know that God is working in your ministry. We assume people know this, but sometimes they don’t.
11. Don’t focus on numbers. They will always change. Focus on being true to your calling and making Jesus famous. Numbers are important, but they aren’t everything.
12. Pray against pride. Pride is one of your biggest enemies! Just say you’re sorry!
13. Look back only to learn not compare. God is always moving forward in fresh ways.
14. Limit drinks on 14+ hour trips. It’ll save you a bunch of time! ?
15. Thank your volunteers a lot!
16. Preach about the hard things in life and how Jesus overcomes. This means that you need to talk about homosexuality, boundaries, and other things we don’t want to address.
17. When the world attends your ministry, praise God! That means God is sending people your way.
18. Regularly pray for other student ministries to succeed. Your group won’t fit everyone. Think Kingdom, not kingdom.
19. Don’t waste time in the office. Use it to learn, lead, and pour into people. Stay away from a lot of “Facebook research.”
20. Live unconditional love.

God is still teaching me things all the time. What could you add to this list?

1 Comment

  1. Love, love, love this list!! Although living in a small, rural town, I would disagree a little bit with the "Facebook research", since I found this list doing just that. I'm also part of a huge youth ministry network for my denomination in a closed Facebook group, and I find it very supportive, and an opportunity to network in a way that I cannot unless I drive an hour and a half away. I get lots of great ideas, wisdom, and insight there.

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