Student Leadership Team Basics: The interview

As part of my student leadership team application process, I interview every teen who applies to be part of our team. This part of the application process is not only valuable, but necessary. To that end, here are 8 reasons why you should include a face-to-face interview as part of your student leadership team application process.

1. In-person interviews help establish a deeper relationship between you and your student leaders. Although you'll likely know the teens who apply to be on your leadership team, sitting down with them one-on-one communicates value. It says you value the person as well as their ideas and that you want a relationship with them, something that allows you to build relational capital with your student leaders. It also allows you to ask clarifying questions about any part of their application that doesn't make sense. That, in turn, enables you to better know and understand each person's unique faith journey.

2. In-person interviews give teens the opportunity to articulate their faith. So often, teens are not used to doing this. Interviewing them forces them to not only think about their faith, but express what they believe and why, something that's critically important in their faith formation.

3. In-person interviews allow you to reiterate expectations with potential team members. While it's important to include both your team covenant and a letter explaining what your student leadership team is with your application, meeting face-to-face with potential team members gives you another forum for clarifying expectations. Doing so often prevents future conflicts.

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Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, 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 the forthcoming 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.

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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

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