5 Reasons Why Student Leadership is Vital

Chasity Opphile
March 30th, 2021

I’m a strong advocate for student leadership and believe that student-led youth ministry can be a game-changer! Here are 5 of the many reasons why I think student ministry can play a vital role in any student ministry. 

Student Leadership Creates Ownership

When we first launched our student ministry, we built it around a 10 person leadership team that included 8 students and 2 adults. This was a relaunch/rebranding of a ministry that had previously been struggling in many ways, primarily in numbers of students. We gave these 8 students permission to dream about what our student ministry could look like. They came up with everything from name, logo, format, ideas, etc and we continue to utilize a student ministry team to run and plan everything. Since that original leadership team, which launched 11 years ago, our student ministry has grown more than 15 times our previous numbers and even more in discipleship, faith development, worship depth and so much more. One of the main things I attribute this to is the fact that the students on our leadership team have ownership, which creates excitement, and their excitement carries over to their peers. Ownership in a student ministry that is theirs, that is not just planned for them, but planned by them is so important!

Student Leadership Creates Relevancy

Let’s face it, as youth leaders, we are a little more tuned into what is relevant in the lives of teens than most adults, but even so, sometimes we think we are a lot more relevant than we actually are, or maybe that is just me, haha! I find that having a student leadership team ensures that the things being planned are going to be, not only things students will find fun, but that cover topics that are applicable to where they are in life and what they need. It ensures that everything from the songs we sing in worship to the topics we cover in Bible study to the activities we have in our after parties is something that will be both relatable and enjoyable. Having actual teens involved in the planning is one of the best ways to make sure your content and programming is relevant! 

Student Leadership Creates Leaders

This one is pretty simple. Having students in leadership and investing in them as leaders through both experience and training means that they are leaders in the right now but also in the future as adults. Providing them leadership opportunities prepares them for a future of leadership, not only in the church but wherever life takes them!

Student Leadership Creates a Lighter Load

I spend a lot of time investing in student leaders so that they can invest time in our students as a whole. Without the amazing students on our leadership team, there is no way we could do what we do as effectively!

Student Leadership Creates Family

One of my favorite things about working with different leadership teams over the years is watching how close they grow as a family. They have fun together and show up for each other in so many ways outside of the youth group. As they work together, grow in their faith together, and learn to lead together, they create bonds that usually last into adulthood! 

These are just a few of many reasons why student leadership is vital! I would encourage you to look for ways to provide leadership opportunities to your students in whatever form that could take for your particular ministry! 

Chasity Opphile

Chasity is the Student Ministry Coordinator at Christ UMC in Newcomerstown, Ohio, where she oversees Meta Student Ministries, a community wide, student led youth ministry. Chasity is most passionate about ensuring that students feel like they belong, are welcomed, loved and valued, fostering their leadership potential and empowering and equipping them to make a difference in the world through the life changing power of Jesus. She is also pretty passionate about hanging out with her awesome husband and family, mission work to Cuba, traveling, hiking, kayaking, all things Spanish and cooking.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.