Student Leadership Team Basics: Establishing Spiritual Goals

Jen Bradbury
Jun 17 · 5 min read

One of the leadership axioms I adhere to is that leaders cannot take people further than they are themselves. In order for teens to consistently grow in their faith, student leaders must do so too.

To challenge student leaders to grow, ask them to establish spiritual goals. As part of this, talk about how good goals are tangible and measurable so as to allow teens to determine whether or not they've successfully reached them.

After establishing these goal-setting basics, challenge student leaders to set two or three spiritual goals for themselves – things they want to do outside of your youth ministry in order to grow in their faith. Give student leaders a definitive time limit in which to reach their goals. In my ministry, we typically do this twice a year: Once over the summer, when we set goals for September through December and again at the start of the new year, when we set new goals for January through May.

Because the broadness of this task can sometimes be daunting for teens, if you see teens struggling to come up with their spiritual goals, give them additional guidelines. For example: Ask student leaders to make one of their spiritual goals about reading scripture, one about praying, and one about serving.

After giving teens time to think and pray about their spiritual goals, ask them to write them on an index card along with their name. Then invite them to share their goals with one another. As they do, ask student leaders to explain why they chose their goals and how their faith might change if they successfully reach them. Doing so helps leaders articulate why their goals are important and how meeting them will help them grow in their faith.

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