Last week I went to lunch with a Sonoma State University student who has been coming to New Vintage Church for a few months. He is part of the student leadership at the university and talked about a couple of leadership philosophies, that are specific to campus leadership, I hadn’t heard about. I thought I’d share them with you…
- Purposeful – taking actions that are planned an intentional
- Inclusive – making sure ones choices and actions are inclusive of all, regardless of race, gender, Socio-Economic Status, ability or other factors
- Empowering – encouraging everyone in a group to participate and bring their best. Everyone has something to contribute, but this does not always come out when individuals feel that others are taking control. Individuals are more likely to enjoy or take ownership of an event or organization if they feel like they are a significant part of it.
- Ethical – making decisions based on a positive ethical framework (of course, ethics being a larger expectation, as opposed to morals being more specific expectations, and values being what individuals personally hold to be important)
- Process-Oriented – the journey is just as important as the end. The ideas of group process (a number of individuals coming together to discuss an issue), community (that a small group of tightly-knit individuals will stay together no matter what challenges they face), and the journey being important all fall under this umbrella.
- Be There – Be present. Don’t be on cell phones
- Play – Remember to have fun, no matter what
- Make Their Day – Go out of your way to make someone’s day. It will make your day.
- Choose Your Attitude – Attitude is the thing that individuals can really control. Why go into a bad situation with bad attitude when you can go into a bad situation with a good attitude and completely change the situation?
I thought these were interesting thoughts that relate very well to student ministry and small group leaders. There’s a few overlapping themes between the philosophies above and the “5 Essentials of Effective Small Group Leaders”
- It’s a Journey – relational ministry doesn’t happen over night, it takes months and sometimes years to gain a student’s trust
- Time on their Turf – you’ve got to meet them where they are emotionally and spiritually…and when possible, meet them where they are literally…sporting events, birthday parties, etc.
- Partner with the Parents – it is the primary responsibility of the parent to disciple their kids, but most just don’t know how and they are happy to have another voice in their student’s lives
- Keep it Real – be honest, be open and don’t give “knee-jerk” answers
- Fill up First – make sure you’ve got a growing relationship with Jesus Christ