Addressing possible leadership holes

A lot of us in campus ministry are thinking about next year’s leadership for some of the movements we lead in other contexts and locations. Maybe graduation is leaving a hole and we just don’t see others stepping up.

I wrote about this time last year how one coach was addressing this very issue. If you are seeing a vacuum in leadership in one of your movements, read on for some ideas.

Sustaining Leadership on Community Colleges

I was talking with a ministry coach recently about how one of her campuses is struggling to find the right leader next year. They have had several years with solid leaders and backing by the college. Students have attended winter and big break conferences and one has gone on a summer mission.

Typical of most community colleges, their turnover of students and leaders is accelerated. In a recent meeting, a show of hands revealed only 5 students returning next year. None of them want to lead.

In this case, they have one committed volunteer who drives 40 miles to be at most weekly meetings. The coach wants to call him. He has been a great help and she will ask if he would assume leadership, but to keep looking to give specific responsibility to others.

There is a dance that we do with the “long-term indigenous volunteer.” When student leadership is strong, they step back. But when it’s weak, they need to step up to take more of the leadership.

The coach also suggested some of this year’s leaders talk with local churches and youth ministries to learn of students attending next year. They were open to that, since they want to see things continue. She wants to talk with former leaders to come up with key churches to visit. Hopefully, some of those first year students will step into leadership.

She also thought this might be a way to find others who have a heart for the campus who would do some of the more behind the scenes things like fund raising, refreshments at meetings, or sponsorship of events.

The coach is suggesting that her leader do a couple of Group Talks. These are an excellent way to help give confidence to those quiet and hesitant ones, at least in a small way, to exercise leadership.

Finally, the coach suggested they take time in each meeting to pray for leaders to be raised up and for many new students to get involved next year. Here is a great story on how God answered similar prayers.

So while this coach didn’t have the natural hand off to the next leader like she has in the past, she has an expectation that God will work in new and exciting ways. Because, after all, He is more concerned about the lost on that campus that we ever will be.

Other tips on finishing the campus year.


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