3 Steps To Raise The Bar On Student Leaders

Your youth ministry is designed to commission next generation disciples.  That means teaching them how to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to grow as leaders in the church.  But that’s not always easy.

There are times when teens disappoint us or choose another activity over the ministry.  It can be frustrating to raise leaders, but the problem might be due to the fact that we haven’t raised the bar.  To raise the bar and encourage teens to step up their game you need to make sure:


When teenagers know what is expected of them you give them a clear path to success.  To make those expectations clear you need to:

  • Write them out.
  • Repeat them frequently.
  • Show them tangible examples.

They are going to have temptations, and distractions.  If your expectations are clear they are going to have the right information to make the right decisions.


They might know what’s expected; however, are unclear on the consequences to their actions.  If a teen performs well or goes above and beyond award them.  Recognize and give them praise.

If a teen messes us or doesn’t live up to expectations explain to them how it breaks trust and can result in a loss of responsibility.  When teens know the consequences it will enable them to make wiser decisions.


Life is challenging and your teen leaders are growing quickly.  If you can partner them up with adults to invest in them you give them an invaluable resource.  They need people:

  • Speaking into their lives.
  • Allowing them to ask questions.
  • Providing a tangible example of how to lead.

Find men and women who can provide that example and help them rise to the next level.

If you want to raise the bar on your student leaders then you need to set them up for success.  As disciples they are growing, learning and absorbing.  When you raise the bar on your student leaders it will impact their lives and the lives of the peers around them.

Question:  How do you raise the bar on student leaders?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jake

    This has been a tough thing to implement in my current position; honestly, it’s been really frustrating. Thanks for the post about it! My one year anniversary here is tomorrow, actually, and I felt a little rushed/pressured to get the Student Leader program implemented (it was a big draw for this church hiring me – they didn’t have anything like it prior), so I feel like I didn’t have time to learn the culture here. That might have adjusted how I ran the program. I’ve been trying to run it like I did at my last job, and it worked pretty well there. Just gotta try things out and see what works and what doesn’t!

    • Jake, thanks for reaching out and sharing. Youth ministry is a journey and while we might understand the need to wait I think there is always going to be pressure for results NOW. Trust in God, keep communication flowing and know that you aren’t alone.