"For Those Who Are Passionate About Reaching The Younger Generation"

Youth Ministry Topics Training Student Leaders

Training Student Leadership: Professional Report (Part 6)

Steve Miller

Assessment Questions

Adapt the following questions to evaluate your own ministry\'s needs and accomplishments regarding student leadership. You could also use these questions to evaluate other ministries that you\'re either consulting with or learning from.

Believing in Student Leadership

1. Do you believe that youth should be involved in ministry?

2. Do you view yourself primarily as a minister, or as a trainer of ministers? If the former is true, is there a person in your church that would make a better trainer?

3. What are your fears about students in ministry?

4. Do you have difficulty giving leadership to others? Why?

5. What are the roadblocks that you must cross to develop student leadership in your location?

6. Does the pastor and staff believe in student leadership? If not, can anything be done to convince them?

7. Do the other adult staff believe in student leadership? If not, how can we inspire them?

Getting Started

1. Are you and others praying regularly, fervently for students to get involved in ministry?

2. Are you willing to make the sacrifices involved (ego, time in training, risks) to see students take charge?

Creating an Environment for Growth

1. Are you modeling godly, servant leadership?

2. Is you ministry balanced and healthy, providing a fertile environment for growth and leadership?

3. What are you doing to drive a commitment culture? Are you able to do this without compromising a message of grace?

4. Are you teaching and modeling a philosophy of shared ministry?

5. Do you give credit to students who are doing ministry, without having to point to yourself as the source?

6. Do students understand leadership as servanthood, rather than a chance to gain recognition?

Training For Ministry

1. Are you or others constantly looking for students who are willing to serve?

2. Are you willing to start with one or two, if that\'s all who are willing?

3. Where will you spend quality time with these students to build relationships, model the Christian life, and train them for ministry?

4. Have you identified many and varied areas where students can serve within the youth ministry, church as a whole, and in the community?

5. Do your Christian students understand that they have gifts which they are to identify and use for God\'s glory?

6. Do you provide adequate training?

7. Do you have a way for students to evaluate their ministry, receive encouragement and input?

8. Does your youth program allow space for student leadership and service?

9. Do you need to train other adults to oversee the identification and training of student ministers?

10. Would dividing into ministry teams help facilitate student involvement?

11. At the end of a month of youth events, bible studies and programs, if you were to run the credits (like at the end of a movie) for all who made the ministry possible, how many, or what percentage, of your youth would be in the credits?

Transitioning Students into Leadership

1. Do you allow students to get involved incrementally?

2. Who besides yourself could be involved in the training process? Other adults in your church? Other students either inside of outside of your church?

3. Do you continually train leadership, even when all spaces are full?

4. Would starting a student leadership team help?

5. Have you set specific qualifications for students in various ministries?

6. Are you learning from other churches and ministries, both from their strengths and weaknesses?

7. Are there seminars or experts or books in this field that you should consult?

8. Once students are qualified, are you willing to use them in significant ministry?

Cultural Factors

Have you identified factors that make your ministry (and thus your style of leadership training) unique, either because of the distinctives of your gifts, your ministry, your church, your community, or your larger culture?


Have you taken what you\'ve learned, prayed intensely, and developed a plan that you believe God wants to implement in your setting?


A consolidation of this paper was published by Group Magazine. If some of you send out resource packets for youth workers, such as they do in Slovakia and Ukraine, or you publish a magazine for youth workers, you may want to take the shorter version, pick out key concepts most valuable to your cultures, and translate it for your report. You can find it at http://www.reach-out.org/article.asp?ai=130&ac=2&al=40 Please check with me before you republish or translate at smillero@mindspring.com .

1) Henry Kissinger, The Phenomenon Pele (Time Magazine, 16-14-1999), pp. 110+

2) \'\'Tiger earns historic win at U.S. Open\'\', Associated Press; also see Tiger Woods: The Making of a Champion, by Tim Rosaforte (St. Martin\'s Press, NY), p. 24.

3) Joseph McBride, Steven Spielberg, (Simon and Schuster, 1997, NY, NY), pp. 70, 85.

4) Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, Gates (A Touchstone Book, New York, New York), p. 47.

5) Paul Davis, Isaac Watts: His Life and Works (New York: Dryden, 1943), p. 19. (Note. These illustrations are archived in the illustration database at www.reach-out.org)

6) Interview with Dave Cole

7) Burt Laine, Developing Kids as Leaders, Group Magazine, March/April, 2000.

8) From personal interview with Abraham Sahu in Jan., 2001, Denver, Colorado, and Abraham\'s site at http://members.tripod.com/absahu/ .

9) www.Cellgroup.com website.

10) Personal interview with Ela Nemtsova in Moscow, Nov., 2000.

11) Troy Hatfield, How to Build a Healthy Worship Team, on the Reach Out Web site at http://reachout.gospelcom.net/article.asp?ai=57&ac=2&al=70 .

12) I\'ve always assumed that "who will also be qualified to teach others" was a result of discipling "reliable men" rather than seeing it as a second qualification. The latter interpretation would mean to choose - 1) those who are reliable/faithful and 2) those you can see as future teachers. This interpretation squares with some of the weighty commentaries I consulted (e.g., Donald Guthrie - "Two qualifications are demanded: a loyalty to the truth, i.e. a loyalty which has to be proved, and an aptitude to teach (cf. I Tim. 3:2)." See also the New Bible Commentary and the Expositor\'s Greek Testament.

13) Personal interview in Jan., 2001 in Denver.

14) Stephen King, A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King, Pocket Books, New York, New York, 2000, p. 145.

Recommended Resources

For some of the below books, check www.amazon.com to see if they have used books available at a considerable discount. The reviews of books are usually helpful as well. If books are out of print, Amazon will do a search, or go to InterVarsity\'s page of booksellers of out of print books at http://www.gospelcom.net/ivpress/info/op.html .

Recommended Books on Leadership:

Barry St. Clair (President of Reach Out Youth Solutions)

Barry St. Clair has written a series of books called "Moving Toward Maturity," designed for use in discipling one on one or small groups of teens. He also has resources for training adult leaders entitled "Building Leaders", which could also be adapted to student leaders. Check out Barry\'s resources at

http://www.reach-out.org/catalog/category.asp?i=0&go.x=7&go.y=11 . Some of these books are available in several languages. E-mail me to find out if they are already in your language.

Steve Miller: For training leadership through discipling to spiritual maturity and training in leadership, I love the classic Master Plan of Evangelism, by Dr. Robert Coleman. Biblical, well-researched, straightforward book on how Jesus worked with his disciples. Dedication and Leadership, by Douglas Hyde, lays out a great challenge to train dedicated leaders. Gary Kuhne\'s Dynamics of Personal Follow-up helped me to see discipleship in the context of the entire church program. Steve Sjogren\'s Conspiracy of Kindness set me on fire to get students involved in simple, practical avenues of service to the community. My online series, Making a Mark That\'s Hard to Erase is good for teaching, motivating and training students to do evangelism. The series Where do I Fit In? gives a couple of lessons and some sheets of possible areas for youth to do ministry. Find them both in the Legacy Lessons at www.reach-out.org .

Tim Williams (Australia) recommends Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster to give a model for spiritual growth that goes beyond personal devotions. He also recommends any books that help people start their growth from a position of grace rather than guilt, such as Phillip Yancey\'s What\'s So Amazing About Grace, Manning\'s The Ragamuffin Gospel or Anderson\'s Victory over Darkness.

Eric Ball - Lost Art of Disciplemaking, by Leroy Eims; Spiritual Leadership, by Oswald Sanders, Disciples are Made, Not Born - by Henrichson, Soul Care, by Peter Lord. All of these give practical steps of how to mature Christians. They give you handles on what to do and how to do it.

Michael Holt - Moving Toward Maturity, by Barry St. Clair, is the best resource I know to get students started in spiritual growth and development. The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges, will separate the "men and women" from the "boys and girls!" Best done in gender segregated groups. I also like Right from Wrong, by Josh McDowell.

Ted Stump: Ted traveled extensively worldwide studying cell groups. See his resources at http://www.cellgroup.com/index.php?PageID=resources which includes his Student-Led Cell Group Manual, that will help you a step by step to develop and implement student-led cell groups in your ministry setting. The manual includes a leader\'s training manual, training packets, cell group curriculum, ice breakers and forms to track the success of your cells.

Eric Ball\'s Resources:

New Believer Follow-Up Packet, designed to a) to establish new believers in the faith b) to equip student/adult leaders (anyone who wants to disciple a new believer) so that they can effectively disciple a new believer. It is a packet with individual pull out sessions, instead of a book. Interested? E-mail Eric at emancci@juno.com or write him at Eric Ball, 2400 Keiser CT., Titusville, FL 32780. It\'s $5.00 plus shipping. If you can\'t afford that, just pay for the shipping and he\'ll send it to you free of charge.

Watch for Eric\'s future resources, 1) Heart to Heart Journal - A devotional journal to help students develop an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father. It emphasizes recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit and responding to Him. 2) A Short Term Mission Trip Manual for youth pastors to prepare their students for a mission trip.

Resources Needed: Glen and Aymi Melo (Philippines) list their main hindrance to building student leaders as "training materials: books, tapes, manuals, videos." We need more input in this area. What would you suggest for Glen and Aymi?

Online Information on Building Student Leaders

See Reach Out\'s extensive collection of youth ministry articles at http://reachout.gospelcom.net/article.asp has some great articles under the topics "Core Principle #2 - Leadership Team," "Core Principle #3 - Discipleship Ministry," "Training Student Leaders," "Developing Student Praise and Worship," and "Student Led Cell Groups." article database I already mentioned Ted Stump\'s site for student-led cell groups at


Sonlife has some great articles from people doing youth ministry in different cultures at http://www.sonlife.com/downloads/articles/articles.html .

The Coaching Center, at http://www.gocampus.org/ has tons of articles for youth who are wanting to start a campus club, teach a bible study, lead a person to Christ, etc.

Professor Mark Tittley collected some student papers from his university level youth ministry students in South Africa. They are on the topic of "Equipping Youth" at http://www.btc.co.za/youth/y6assign.htm .

HELP! If you believe this report is valuable, could you e-mail us a couple endorsement sentences that we could use in encouraging others to sign-up? E-mail to smillero@mindspring.com . And pass this report on to a friend.


Steve Miller has been involved in youth ministry for the past 29 years, serving in both volunteer and staff capacities as local church youth minister, leading home bible studies and discipleship groups, training student leadership, leading worship and developing student-led worship. He lived in Slovakia, training youth workers there and in several other countries. He writes bible studies and collects speakers illustrations that are used by youth workers globally at www.reach-out.org. He wrote the book, The Contemporary Christian Music Debate, which has been translated into Russian, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Romanian. He studied at Dalton College, Columbia International University, The University of Georgia, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


This report was made possible because of the efforts of the following people who either responded to our e-mail request or were personally interviewed: Abraham Sahu (Delhi, India), Jim Brown (Northern Ireland), Ted Stump (High Impact Ministries), Kevin Ragsdale (North Point Church), Trent Walters (North Point Church), Dave Cole, Ela Nemtsova (Ukraine), Tim Williams (Australia), Perry Friesen (Maikop, Russia), Glen and Aymi Melo (Cagayan De Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines),D.Z. (name withheld, Rural Ecuador), Ela Nemtsova (Ukraine), Tim and Annette Gulick (Mexico), Michael Holt (North Carolina), Eric Ball (USA)

Editorial Board

I\'m looking for a team of people who have experience with youth ministry in multiple cultures who will be willing to read over my reports and give me input before I send them out. Dave Livermore, Tim Gulick and Annette Gulick gave me input on this one. Thanks for keeping me on track! Interested in being a part? E-mail me at smillero@mindspring.com .

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