Thoughts on Student Leadership and Why We Need Encourage It

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First Thoughts on Student Leadership

Student leadership growing up was emphasized greatly in my youth group. We had a leadership team of students who helped make decisions on trips and other things. We also had leaders within our Quiz Teams, Drama, and Choir. Not that we didn’t have adult leaders, but they hand selected and allowed students to help lead in these areas of ministry as well. I remember my senior year when Mr. Leatherman elected me the student leader of the drama team when he couldn’t be there. I felt a sense of pride in the work my peers and I did in practice and creation of the skits.

As I grew, I continued being part of student leadership in college with the First Teams program at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. Moving from a small group leader to a mentor of the small group leaders, I continued learning about how to lead my own peers. As I walked through those stages of life, I didn’t take much stock into how important Student Leadership is. Now, as an adult small group leader, I see the immense importance of investing in student leadership.

So Where Should We Begin?

This question is what has been plaguing me during this current school year. How do I start to develop the student leaders I have under my wing? Where do I start? Will I be able to do this? Am I sure I won’t mess them up more than what they already are being teens? (That last one is a joke…maybe…) Anyways, thankfully starting yesterday I am going back to school and what is my first class? Well, it is Leadership Church & Ministry. How fitting, right? So I am starting a new journey through how to create a plan for encouraging student leadership in youth ministry. Thankfully, I have already found some sources I am excited to use:

Click the Image to take you to Doug’s Site!

Student Leadership

Any Suggestions?

If you are reading this and are like: “Hey! We have a program or resources that could help you!” Send them via a comment below! I would love to collaborate!

Until Next Time,



The Five Love Languages: A New Journey in Student Leadership

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Why Focus on Student Leadership?

This season I have entered a new realm of student leadership. I am starting a small group for my female high Student Leadershipschool leaders, who work with our fifth graders each week. If you’ve ever read any of my blogs, you should know I am all about coming up alongside females of all ages and helping them grow as women and as Christians. So I wanted something good to start our small group with and I found a teen version of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Let’s just say I am in love with this book, because it has exactly what I need.
Student LeadershipI am taking information from Chapman and information fro It’s Just a Phase by Reggie Joiner & Kristen Ivy and creating a study on how student leaders can use the five love languages in their small groups.

Why is this important?

Everyone has one or two love languages we thrive in, even students of all ages. So when you have a group of five to ten students, there is a good chance that all five languages are going to be represented. So to be an effective leader when it comes to expressing the appropriate amount of affection or care towards the students, one must be well versed in all the different love languages.

Also, this is going to help the students develop in all their relationships outside of leadership as well. From their family life to their friendships to their dating life and more. Becoming a well-rounded person on this topic will carry with them past high school and beyond into their adulthood.


How are you presenting it?

Student Leadership
Cover for the Study

I am creating my own journal, highlighting important information from Chapman’s book and Joiner’s book (of course I will give credit where credit is due!)  Every other week starting on the 9th of October, I will post the next segment of the study and the pages of the journal. I want to provide them with free resources for any and all youth workers who would like to use them!

So be on the lookout for this series I am posting and have a great day!


God Bless


Free Small Group Leader Resources by AshleyDannie

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What is it?

Youth Group is just around the corner and as a small group leader, there is always the question of how to get information about the kids in your group. I have struggled with this question every year and I have finally came up with something I think will be successful. I am putting a small packet or binder together for them with different pages that will help them be successful and just as importantly me/you as a leader will be successful. So here are some free Small Group Leader Resources I give you full permission to download and use!


The first couple pages are introduction pages. The first two pages consist of a picture of yourself and then fill out the information provided. This sheet allows the students to get to know you and will start to build the foundation of a trusting and safe environment. If you are open up, it heightens the chances of them opening up about their favorite things.


The third page in the binder is a sheet for your student(s) to fill out. This is some of the same information that you have provided for them, but they would give it to you after filling it out.



Next, I provide them with calendars of each full month so they can fill in different events as the school year progresses, such as Youth Group Events when there is no youth group, and Small Group Outings (SGO).

03.Calendar for Year 2016

TAWG (Time Alone with God)

TAWG, I believe, is one of the most important components a small group leader can encourage students, so I have put together a suggestion list of different devotion plans for each month the students can do if they have the Bible (YouVersion) app. This list is a suggestion and I am not requiring my girls to do it, but they are good ones they can pick and choose from or can do all of them.

06. Monthly Devotions

With each of the months I have in the devotions above, I have assigned a verse or verses. They are verses I feel go well with the theme I picked for the month. For example, I have new sixth graders this year so I picked the theme New Beginnings for Aug. and the verse I plugged with it is Jeremiah 29:11, which talks about God having a plan for them. So if the students don’t want to or have access to the bible app, I have provided S.O.A.P. instructions and worksheets to use with each verse(s) I provide for each month. S.O.A.P. is just one type of study tool kids can use in their TAWG time. I give them an instruction page and then 12 pages of the S.O.A.P. worksheet for each month.

04. SOAP Instructions

05. SOAP Worksheet

Small Group Agreement

The last document I have for their binder is the Small Group Agreement. This is something I have always verbally done every year with my girls, even if it is just to remind them. The agreement talks about what I expect as a leader from them and what they should expect from me. This way I am just as accountable for my actions within the small group as well as the girls (or boys). It mostly talks about respect, the group being a safe place, and the most important aspect being what will happen if something is said that is harmful to them or another.

I try to make this very clear that if something is shared in the group that is harmful to them or someone else, by law, I must go to a higher authority. Yes, it causes of hurt feelings, but I would rather our kids be safe and them hating me for it than something horrible happening and we still besties. So I would encourage you to do something with your small group, whether it is verbal or written.

07.Small Group Agreement

 Leader Binder

I also make a binder for myself so I can keep all the student introduction papers, all the small group agreement signature papers, and my own calendars and TAWG time information. This way I can go back and look at anything I need and even use the calendar to pencil in sporting events, music concerts, or anything else my girls are involved in so I can go and support at least once.

These kids are not only the future but are the children of God. Let’s make sure we walk into this part of their lives ready and willing to serve. You all are amazing people and even though we don’t know each other I am honored to serve next to you as we help nurture the next generations.

Small Group Leader ResourcesGod Bless


Community for Small Group Leaders by Elle Campbell

Community for Small Group Leaders

Community is Important

Posted by OrangeLeaders Blog

“Let’s try something together.

For just a moment, I want you to think about the very first time you began volunteering at your church. Try to remember, as vividly as you can, what it was like to start serving somewhere new for the very first time.

Got it?

What was it like to walk into a new environment, with new responsibilities, for the very first time? Who did you know? How long did it take for you to feel like you belonged there?

And here’s one more question I want you to consider.”

“Why did you start serving in the first place?”

Click Here to Check Out the Rest of the Article!


Small Group Leader Tips by

Small Group Leader Tips to Think About

Here is a great article with some tips for first-time small group leaders by Colton Harker:

Recently, I got one of my good friends to help me co-lead my small group. Leading a small group is his very first taste of youth ministry and it has been such a cool thing to be a part of. One of the cool parts about helping him is realizing how much God has taught me about leading a small group over the past three years. I thought I would share three of the most important lessons that I shared with him: – Click here to read all of it at:

Small Group Leader Tips
These are just some of my small group girls (AshleyDannie not Colton) and if you think being crazy isn’t apart of the job then you aren’t understanding this picture.