Student Leadership Team Basics: 6 things to look for in student leaders

During my first year in youth ministry, the thing I looked for most in student leaders was spiritual maturity.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding teens who you could call spiritually mature.

This makes sense when you realize high school teens are still developing in every way – including by growing in their faith.

Having realized that, I no longer think spiritual maturity is the most important thing to look for in student leaders. Instead, I now look for these 6 things:

A growing relationship with Jesus. Rather than look for teens who are spiritually mature, I want student leaders who are actively growing in their relationship with Jesus. This is, in part, because of where teens are developmentally. It's also because teens consistently tell me that being on our leadership team is the thing that had the most impact on their faith during high school. As a result, a teen's desire to grow in their faith is now far more important to me than how “spiritually mature” they are when they apply.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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