Last week I mentioned four specific areas to get your student leaders up and running for the year. It is exciting to see what students will do when we equip them, express confidence in them and then release them to watch God work. But there are some things that the students, and all of us, need you to do. Here are four:
Articulate your vision for a Transformational Community
I just love to paint a picture of what God would do through a student on their campus. Incidently, this is just as effective over the phone. Have a conversation using the Local Leader Critical Path. I ask them to draw out the diagram and then we discuss Vision, Critical Mass and the critical path steps of Prayer, Evangelism, Discipleship and Sending. Ask lots of questions about what God might do, what they are trusting God for and what they might do initially for each step. When you ask them to assume leadership you become a resource by sharing your own vision and ways that you can help. I would say that this is one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader.
Make sure your info is current on the infobase. (This is if you are staff or an intern in the US)
- Edit your profile so that the information is accurate. You are the only one who can do this and it only takes a minute. But it is so important for anyone looking at our ministry locators trying to reach you with a contact for a campus. If you don’t know how, ask your director.
- Check to see if your name is attached to the right campuses. Again, our ministry locators are in lots of visible places (GodSquad, EveryStudent.com, our campus ministry sites, etc). We want parents and friends to tell us about Christian students. If you are working on a campus and the ministry locator does not list a ministry there, the default is “Would you like to help us start a ministry?” Far fewer will contact us when they see that than when they know that some ministry activity is already going on.
- If you have campuses within your scope that you would like to get to but you have not been there yet, list them as “Forerunner” campuses. At least you will get any walk-in business that might come, rather than people going elsewhere if they think there is nobody there.
Decide which campuses you will do launching activities on.
If you are not intentional about pioneering on other campuses then it will not get done. As a staff team, decide which campuses and when you will visit. Three easy things to do there are FSKs, ES posters and QuEST interviews. The ideal time to pioneer is during the first six weeks of the semester. Students are the most open and available during this time. If you feel like you are taking time away from existing ministries, prepare the leaders the week before by saying that you will call them to talk through what is going on in the ministry and answer any questions at that time. And let us begin to pray that God will use your time of pioneering on new campuses to help the students on your launched campus to grow as leaders.
Learn how to direct and delegate rather than just doing.
I started driving tractor at 4 1/2 and a truck at 9. After 40 some years I think I am fairly good at driving. No matter how much modeling and teaching I provided, I finally had to get out of the driver seat and give the wheel to each of my sons. They made some mistakes at first. I had a few white knuckle moments. But it was necessary. We are developing leaders. They won’t/can’t lead if we continue to do so. A good starting place is the article “Delegating Responsibility“.
I tried to focus here on developing your leadership. Leaders think strategically and with the big picture in mind. Develop the skills of casting vision and delegation, and the character of dynamic determination. Together let us pray that God opens up the doors of effective ministry on more and more campuses and within more communities, so that more and more students can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.