Leadership teams are a great way to develop students because when students are on teams they will face communication problems, team work obstacles and all kinds of struggles that will lead to growth. I have noticed when leadership teams go wrong it is often because of the same issues. Here are the most common mistakes youth workers make when leading a student leadership team.
1. Studying books written for adults.
Most youth workers don’t have a student leadership curriculum so they have students read books by megachurch pastors. This is not a good idea because students can’t relate to many of the topics in these books. Students need to focus on learning the basic leadership principles; this will give them a healthy start in leadership.
2. Adult volunteers who don’t get student leadership.
Many youth workers will ask an involved adult volunteer to help with the student leadership team, but won’t tell the volunteer the importance of letting students lead. This will create a divide in the vision for the student leadership team. One adult will be giving away leadership and letting students fail and one will be rescuing them to make sure they always look good. A divided house will not stand.
3. No structure.
Youth workers have a team, but it meets sometimes but not always. When it does meet, it goes over a random topic. Some students leave after one semester because of sports or drama team or any other reason. The team is a mess. Without structure, the student leadership team will fail and will become a black eye for the youth worker. Leadership teams require time, focus, intentionality and purpose. Make sure you have all of these before you start.