Mapping your relational networks can open doors to new ministry opportunities.
Choosing new leaders
It’s never too early to begin prayerfully seeking leaders to replace those who will be graduating or changing leadership roles in your campus ministry group this spring. Helping your chapter spot potential leaders now will give you plenty of time to get to know them, and they’ll have plenty of time to consider the leadership roles offered to them.
There is a great deal of help in the Bible for choosing leaders. Standards for Christian leaders are outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9; 2:1—3:11. Consider how your potential leadership team members fit those descriptions. (Be gracious, and remember that your peers are still in process. We’re all under construction, and none of us is perfect.)
Also consider how people are growing in the following characteristics, each of which is discussed in scripture:
Seeking God for vision and guidance. “In their hearts human beings plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Do these men and women seek guidance from the Lord for their own lives? For the chapter? For the campus? For the world? Are they receptive to change?
Faithfulness. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).
Are these people consistently involved in the life of your campus ministry, as well as their church? What responsibilities have these students been given in the past? How did they handle those responsibilities? Are they actively involved in caring for people in your campus fellowship? What is their attitude toward serving others? Do they seek self-recognition through their acts of service?
Forgiveness and reconciliation. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to that person; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
How well do these chapter members handle conflict? Do they demonstrate a reconciling spirit and a forgiving heart? Consider their relationships: are they marked by emotional and spiritual maturity? Are they able to relate to people who are very different from them?
Submission to Christ. “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me’” (Luke 9:23).
Do these potential leaders display a conscious, ongoing pattern of confession and growth? Do they seem to be dependent on prayer and scripture from day to day? Are they in the process of conforming to Christ’s likeness — that is, are there concrete, godly changes in their behaviors and attitudes over time? Have they availed themselves of opportunities to grow spiritually (discipling relationships, training conferences, etc.)? Are they humble and teachable?
Biblical Literacy. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Do these students have a good working knowledge of the Bible? Are they prepared to share their faith from the Scriptures? Are they willing to speak hard spiritual truths that emerge from an understanding of God’s truth in the Bible? Do they handle God’s Word accurately in small-group Bible study discussions?
Other considerations. Would being part of a leadership team benefit these people, as well as the chapter, at this time? Do others in the chapter respect them and seek them out for their counsel? Have these candidates expressed interest in serving in a particular area?
As you consider potential leaders, make praying through your decisions a top priority. Only on a solid foundation of prayer can you make wise decisions that reflect God’s will.
--adapted from an article by Nancy Pensyl