This summer, my student leaders & I read and discussed the book, Help! I'm a Student Leader by Doug Fields. Using the questions below, we had some incredibly powerful discussions about leadership and faith.
Questions about Ch. 5 of Help! I'm a Student Leader:
1. According to Doug, “Reporting a need is only acceptable when you or other student leaders aren't capable of meeting it on your own.” (76) What are some examples of needs / problems you should report rather than try to fix on your own?
2. (In groups) Make a list of needs present within our youth ministry. As a group, come to a consensus regarding the greatest need affecting our youth ministry. Circle it.
(a) Switch lists with another group. Write down the steps we can take to creatively meet the need the other group identified & in so doing, solve the problem it identifies. (Have each group report on their problem / solutions.)
(b) How would solving these problems enhance the effectiveness of our youth ministry?
3. Doug claims, “It's better to make a big mistake because of enthusiasm for leadership and conviction of belief than not do anything at all.” (77) Do you agree or disagree? Why?
4. “When conflict is handled quickly and correctly, it brings people closer together and strengthens your ministry.” (78) How can conflict actually bring people closer together and strengthen our ministry?
5. “Resolving conflict is part of leadership.” (78) Why? What happens when conflict goes unresolved?
6. When it comes to dealing with conflict, Doug recommends seeking wise counsel. (81) How can you do this without gossiping?
7. Doug admits that “Often, I'll start the conversation by apologizing, taking ownership for my part in the conflict, and asking forgiveness for the role I played.” (81) Describe your reaction to this approach to dealing with conflict. What might you gain by apologizing FIRST during this type of conversation?
8. “Defensiveness is arguing without trying to understand the other side.” (82) Do you agree or disagree? Why?
9. “Rumors destroy a healthy life and ministry.” (85) Why are rumors so destructive? How can you combat rumors in our youth ministry?
10. Doug recommends “Spending time deciding if the conflict is worth your energy.” (87) As a leader in our youth ministry, what are some examples of conflicts that might be worth your energy?
11. (Individually, on index cards) Answer Doug's question: “Who is someone in your life with whom you're experiencing tension?” on your index card. (88) Based on what you've read in this chapter, what can you do to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict with this person?