Last summer, my student leaders & I read and discussed the book, Help! I'm a Student Leader by Doug Fields. Using the questions below, we had some incredibly powerful discussions about leadership and faith.
Questions about Ch. 9 of Help! I'm a Student Leader:
1. Doug encourages you to “set your sights on investing in the lives of others as part of your leadership journey.” (127) Who's invested in you as part of your leadership journey?
2. Doug encourages you to find a “younger person you can advise, encourage, and mentor in leadership.” (128) To you, what does it mean to mentor someone? Why is being a mentor a “high calling”?
3. Doug shares how when he mentors someone, “the relationship forces him to think through how to teach someone a skill he's already learned.” (128) When it comes to leadership, what skills have you already learned? How could you go about teaching those skills to other people?
4. (Pair & share) Doug says, in mentoring, “I need to figure out how to guide him away from the kinds of mistakes I've made as a leader.” (128) Share with your partner: What kinds of mistakes have you made as a leader? How might you guide others away from making those same mistakes?
5. Doug says flat out, “If you're not growing spiritually or leading honorably, you will not be a credible or respected leader.” (129) (Distribute spiritual goal cards from your discussion about Ch. 3) Look again at the spiritual goal you set for yourself several weeks ago. How will fulfilling this goal help make you a credible & respected leader in our youth ministry? What do you need from others on leadership in order to reach this goal?
6. Doug warns, “It's wisest for guys to mentor guys and girls to mentor girls.” (129) Do you agree or disagree with this? Why?
7. (Index cards) Doug cautions, “Don't view yourself as a teacher. A good mentor recognizes he has not arrived and still has a lot of life to figure out.” (130) When it comes to leadership, what's one thing you still have to figure out? Write your name and that thing on your index card. How would “figuring” this thing out make you a better leader? (Collect cards)
8. “As a leader committed to serving God and helping others, you'll need to give priority to your spiritual life.” (131) With the start of school, other than just showing up for youth ministry stuff, how can you continue to give priority to your spiritual life?
9. Doug suggests, “One of the best ways not to lose focus on God is to ask your mentor or another leader to hold you accountable. Invite that person to ask you tough questions about your heart's condition and your spiritual growth.” (131) What does it mean to be accountable to someone else?
(a) (list) What are the tough questions it might be good for someone to ask you about your heart condition and spiritual growth?
(b) How might being asked these questions help keep you accountable for growing in your faith?
(c) Introduce & assign accountability partners:
- We'll meet on occasion throughout the year as part of our leadership team meetings
- Ask one another these questions
- Pray for one another (in person & throughout the week)
11. “The work of the ministry is never done.” (133) Some of you already know just how true this is of leadership. Given this, even as you lead others, how can you take care of yourself during this leadership journey? Why's it important you do?
12. (Everyone Answers) “Spiritual growth can be understood best when it's described as a journey. It's a lifelong journey. Your spiritual life is moving forward, standing still, or going backward.” (134) Think about your spiritual life this summer. Overall, do you think you've moved forward, stood still, or gone backward? Why? How can you, especially as the school year starts, keep your spiritual life moving forward this fall?
13. Doug suggests that we, “Make a short list of people you can begin to develop intentional. Pray for them and begin to look for ways you can influence their lives.” Look at the freshman roster.
(a) (Everyone Answers) From this group, who's one person you
- Have some rapport with
- Want to get to know better
- Would be willing to intentionally invest in this FALL semester
- Can be in your buddy group but doesn't have to be
(b) Share who you're thinking about. (Once someone has been named, you cannot name them again.) (Index card) First write your name, then draw an arrow, & then write the name of the person who's name you said you could invest in this fall semester. How can you pray for this person this week? What's one way you can intentionally invest in this person?
Get the Help! I'm a Student Leader discussion questions for Ch. 1-5 here.
Get the Help! I'm a Student Leader discussion questions for Ch. 6 here.
Get the Help! I'm a Student Leader discussion questions for Ch. 7 here.
Get the Help! I'm a Student Leader discussion questions for Ch. 8 here.