Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

This week's prompt: Hidden.

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

I have this expression I use around my student leaders: “You have a lot of potential.”

It drives my student leaders a little batty.

As adolescents, student leaders want desperately to believe they've arrived. They want to believe they know how to do it all, including lead. They think they're infallible.

In truth, student leaders haven't arrived, they're on the journey. (Aren't we all?)

Student leaders don't know how to do everything (but then again, neither do I). But the best student leaders are willing to learn. The best ones are willing to try. The best ones are willing to take risks, even if they fail.

Student leaders aren't infallible. They're actually prone to mistakes. When they fail, they often fail big.

But, boy, do student leaders have untapped, oftentimes hidden potential.

Student leaders have the hidden potential to serve like Jesus did. They have the potential to become servant leaders who look out for the needs of others before their own.

Student leaders have the hidden potential to learn. Don't be fooled by the word student. By definition, student actually means someone who studies something. Student leaders can grasp tricky concepts; they can ponder important questions.

Student leaders have the hidden potential to welcome; to look out for those on the margins of your ministry even at the expense of time with their own friends.

And if someone is willing to invest in them, student leaders have the not-so-hidden potential to become great leaders; the kind of leaders who will change their schools, churches, and communities. In short, they have the potential to be the kinds of leaders who will change our world.

Unleashing The Hidden Potential

For more on student leadership, pre-order my new book, Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders, which will be released in the Spring, 2017!

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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