I'll be at the Youth Specialties 'National Youth Workers Convention' four times this Fall leading a few middle school ministry workshops. One that I'm super excited about, but also beginning to stress over, is a brand new workshop on developing student leaders in middle school ministry. We have a pretty good student leadership program in our ministry, but it's certainly not as good as it could be nor do I feel like an authority on the topic. Without question, our student leadership program is a vital part of our ministry and the students who are involved really like it.
One of our struggles with it has always been the question of are we really developing student leaders (and, how do you even measure that...) or is the program just another place for our core kids to hang out together? I suppose it's really a little bit of both.
I guess the best way to approach the workshop will be to discuss what an 'ideal' middle school student leadership program may look like and then share a little bit of the 'real'....what it looks like for us and other churches.
I suppose I need to take a little pressure off myself. One thing I've learned through the years is that middle school workers appreciate any chance to get together to talk, dream and share our journey.