Any given mid-week service you will find students leading most everything that is happening in our gathering. From welcoming, games, skits and announcements, it is all student led. I love watching them grow into these roles. Some kids are not up-front type students, so finding places for them to serve is equally important. From sound, lights, prayer team, to set-up and clean-up, getting students involved in the ministry has huge results. We also encourage our students to serve the whole church through being on a prayer team, welcoming, clean-up, children's ministry, etc. This helps them see church beyond the four walls of the youth room. We also try and equip them to serve outside of church. We encourage them to look for ways to bring beauty into their world at home, school, the sports field and more.
Another important area in developing student leaders, really all students, is teaching them to ask good questions. Jesus was a great example of this. He often would answer a question with a question. See Luke 10:25 for a great example. We want our students to know that there is no wrong question when it comes to them developing their theology. Our desire is to create space within our ministry where students can wrestle with the big issues of faith, salvation, justice, sexuality, creation, etc. But this asking good questions is more than just about our faith. If they can learn to ask good questions and not always assume they alone have the best answer, this will help them in their future careers and relationships. We want to develop an attitude of learning in the students. We desire to show them that even with our faith, beyond what we would say are the essentials, they would learn to approach ministry with open hands and hearts, be willing to grow, and maybe even change a position on a certain topic when they are show something in a new light.
Still more to come on this topic.