You can't really be effective in student ministry (or any ministry) without thinking through and implementing leadership development. Yes, that's a black and white statement but I believe it to be true. By leadership development I mean shepherding people in a process to discover, develop and utilize their God given gifts and talents. This is true of adult leaders and students.
Last night there were 14 high school students hanging out at our house. They're members of our students advisory team. Our "SAT" consists of students who are nominated by the student body and then chosen by the student ministry staff to provide input and direction to our student ministry.
At Irving Bible Church we are in the beginning processes of becoming a ministry that has student leadership development as a major part of it's dna.
What we did last night wasn't rocket science. We ate pizza, drank Dr. Pepper (I hadn't done that in a while), prayed together and discussed how we can better love students. In addition to all that we had a little discussion on why humility is one of the main characteristics of Godly leadership.
So, finish this statement,
"you must think through and apply students leadership development to your ministry because..."
I would love to develop a top 10 list and then discuss some ways to implement. This idea of student leadership seems to be wide open. Of course there's no formula or perfect way to help students serve, but surely there's some wisdom and best practices we can share.
Thanks for any input.