Student leaders can be our greatest joy in youth ministry. Seeing them take the lead and challenge other students to reach their potential can make us want to stay in youth ministry all our lives. BUT students who lead their peers down the wrong road and become distracting leaders can break our hearts. When students go down the wrong path and work against God’s purpose, we want to get as far from them as possible. At times, we would even love to see them leave the ministry.
So, what to do when your student leader goes “bad”? (Meaning the student is influencing people in a negative manner.)
1. Run to them, not away from them.
The last thing they want is a relationship with you, but keeping them in relationship with you is the key to turning them around. Without relationship, you are lost and so are they. Meet with them, communicate with them, make it personal and caring, even if they tell you they want nothing to do with you. Stick by them; keep up the notes, texts and phone calls. Don’t let them get away.
2. Reach out to their gang.
Rogue leaders always have gangs. Show them attention, care for them, watch their games and go to their activities. Don’t be whom the rogue leader is calling you. Showing love will make the gang challenge the message of the rogue leader.
3. Be patient.
Students are a work in progress and often they are selfish and childish. They could also be acting out based on what is happening at home. Remember we are to be faithful in this season of their lives. We may not see a turn around in their school years, but God is at work and He will use your actions for His glory.