Students learning from other student leaders.

Years ago, Sam and Danielle Shellenberger, then team leaders in Central Pennsylvania, hosted gatherings of students every two or three weeks in their home. These students would travel from near the New York and Maryland state lines to Hershey for those “Friday feasts” and a time of VHS, vision, huddle, and skills. (I said it was years ago!)

As Sam and Danielle were the only staff working with all these campuses, Sam would assign responsibilities to the students during the VHS time. He told me once that when a student stepped into leadership on a new campus, he wanted them to hear student leaders in more developed ministries share  what they were doing and how. Students watched other students lead.

The principle: Students are more likely to believe they can do what they see other students doing.

We’ve been talking over the last two weeks about setting up student leaders in the areas of Prayer, Evangelism, Biblical Content, and Community. Last week, we focused on some simple skills and resources in each of these elements of ministry.

For most of us working multiple campuses within a defined geographic scope, Sam’s practice years ago of connecting students together has great promise for us as we seek to increase student ownership and make ministry transferable.

Many of you often gather your students together for a Friday night or all day Saturday mini-retreat or summit. This would be a great time for students to meet as Prayer, Evangelism, Biblical Content, and Community leaders. Obviously you will want them to provide your own specific direction and tools to help them.

For those of you who like to consolidate leadership and have control, this could be challenging. But for those of you who think in terms of involving more students in leadership or you think about giving more students on more campuses an opportunity to say yes to Christ, this could help distribute ministry more.

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