The Power of Empowering Students

I recently shared about our Coffee House night that we held. It was one of our best, most fun events and I had nothing to do with it. The idea was birthed from some of our students comments about needing some time just to hang out. How so much of our meetings are planned out to the detail that there is not time to just “Be” with friends, with each other, with God. My two assistants caught hold of the idea and pitched it to me for a certain day, then they planned out food, coffee, setup and everything. They found one student who like to paint and she volunteered to make posters for decorations.

Over the past year I have made a sincere effort to empower others to do ministry. So I’m trying to give everything possible away and only do what only I can do. I still am responsible for setting the course of our ministry. I have final say in different aspects. I do the speaking.. most of the time. However here are some things I have tried to turn over..

Social Media Graphics – I just showed a student how to use Adobe Spark Post. They now create scripture graphics and event graphics for all our social media platforms

Social Stories – On Wednesday night one student creates a story for our snapchat and one for our instagram story.

Pictures – We have a digital camera and we try to put it into the hands of students as much as possible. We get photos of people, things and perspectives that we would never get taking them ourselves.

Worship – Our student worship band has a college assistant who chooses music and runs rehearsals, but all the instrumentalist, vocals and those who run screens are students.

Main Worship – On any given Sunday we have students serving as ushers, tech team, vocalist, instrumentalist, and various speaking parts from prayers to announcements in our main Sunday worship service.

Small Group Leaders – Each of our Junior High small groups has 1-2 adult leaders and 1–2 Student leaders. Students lead the discussion, contact their members during the week, send cards and visit their group members games and events.

Speaking – I used to think this was one area I had to hold onto, however recently I have begun working with students and helping them to prepare messages to share. It has been amazing to see our students respond to messages presented by their peers.

Church Reports – You are supposed to say great things about your youth group when you report to the church. However, get a student to give the report. Ask them to talk about what the group has meant to them.

Brainstorm and Idea Planning – Our best ideas come from the heart and minds of students who haven’t been told what they can’t do. We have a few brainstorm meetings per year where they have the opportunity to plan events and suggest program ideas. Last time our students requested more mission opportunities and more unstructured time. Who would have thought?

Empowering students to do ministry is risky and dangerous because you have no idea what will happen and yet you are responsible for it. However I believe that we are supposed to help students discover their gifts and how to use them to God’s glory.

What ways to you empower students?

What responsibilities have you turned over to your students?

What is keeping you from doing so?

Respond in the comments below.

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