Below is an excerpt of an article I wrote for Youth Specialties. Click the link at the bottom to read the entire piece.
Student leadership can be one of the most divisive parts of a youth ministry. I have seen several great youth groups torn apart by implementing a student leadership team. On the other hand, I have also seen some adequate ministries really take off after they empowered students to lead.
I do not know if there is one proper way to do student leadership, but I do believe it is necessary for many reasons. It helps students feel more connected to the church. They often feel more apt to invite their friends. It prepares them to lead not only as teens but also as adults. The youth pastor and team can multiply their efforts through the students. This list could go on and on, but again, I do not think there is just one way of doing student leadership.
With all that in mind, here are three ways student leadership has evolved in my church over the past few years…