Step Two: Accountability
I recommend that you have this well planned out ahead of time, because there will always be that one student that tests something not thought through. It will happen. So plan for it. I have the same standard plan that most Youth Pastor’s have. I have a certain mental picture of what I feel God wants a student to be prepared for before leaving our ministry and entering the next step, whatever that may be. It could be college or the workforce or military life. Each student is different and I tailor ministry to each one that I meet but there is a general set of expectations that I have for students that plan on sticking with Student Leadership here.
1. They have to show interest in it. I do not seek out students at this point. Encouragment is at all levels of our ministry and this has been successful in moving students from one level to another. So the questions usually go like this, “Dustin, what does it take to be a student leader?” Bingo. Next Step.
2. I sit down with each student and go over the expectations very quickly and then let them think on it. I cover the high points and let them know that by “signing” on with Student Leadership they are agreeing to all of the above. Here they are. a)Faith in Christ. I allow them to share their testimony with me. b)Church attendance. We have several different denominations involved with our weekly ministry, so attendance at their home church is required. If they don’t have a home church, they must be at ours. At least 3 out of four Sundays a month. I set the bar high. If a students starts to slack off in this area, I always check in and see what is up. c)Attendance at all Student Ministry Events is required for them. Obviously, not everyone can be at all the events all the time, so they just need to let me know what is up. So basically, there are times that Student Leaders are excused. d)By being a Student Leader, they are held to higher standards than others. They are giving me permission to call them on the carpet for their behavior…this includes online, school activities, anything that may affect their witness is fair game. I am up front about this and obviously I handle all of those issues individually and with grace. Teaching opportunities should never be wasted.
**Additional thoughts on Accountability: I often ask for report cards/mid-term grades and make sure that they are keeping up with the studies (No Pass/No Play). If they get in trouble at home/school, then there are ramifications on this level as well.
This will get them to the next step, Discipleship see pt 3