Peer Ministry for Campus Ministry Partner Congregations [Part 4 of 11]
Leadership development for the entire church is one of the major tasks of Lutheran Campus Ministry. The training of peer ministers has a large place in this task. Students need to develop the basic skills needed for effective ministry. The educational component of any peer ministry program is not superfluous, but a necessary element of the campus ministry task of leadership development for the entire church.
Many full time campus ministry programs offer a pre-year training for their student leadership. In addition there are training sessions that are offered with their weekly meetings and throughout the academic year. It would be worthwhile to connect with one of these sites to see if some training might be done within a geographic region.
Sites have offered training in the following areas (in order of frequency, beginning with the most common):
1. Interactive listening.(5)
2. Theology of evangelism and techniques for outreach to peers.(6)
3. Referral techniques for students who have issues which exceed the abilities of the student peers.
4. Small group leadership.(7)
5. Lutheran Identity.(8)
6. Worship leadership skills.(9)
7. Bible study leadership.
8. The mission of the greater church, beyond local congregations.
9. Office and leadership/management skills.
Other areas of training include spiritual direction and self understanding, publicity and marketing techniques, ministerial ethics (confidentiality, boundary issues), hospitality and social activism.
There are a number of other resources that have been helpful. Augsburg Youth and Family Institute has an established training program which has served well for those campus pastor/ministers who have taken it. Stephen Ministry materials (by Ken Haugk) have been used by many sites to train for the tasks of caring ministries.
(5) The first five sessions of Barbara Varenhorst's book on peer ministry are effective for creating sensitivity to the need to listen, and offers some tools to assist the development of listening skills. (Barbara Varenhorst with Lee Sparks, Training Teenagers for Peer Ministry. Loveland Colorado: Group Books, 1988 pp. 16-68.)
(6) A fine video resource for training of student evangelists is: Patrick Kiefert, Evangelism for Shy Lutherans, (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1992). A discussion guide is provided with the video.
(7) Serendipity Publications has good materials on small group leadership. Also note Long, Small Group Leaders' Handbook.
(8) No resource can compare with Luther's "Small Catechism" and "Large Catechism".
(9) Roy Hammerling, of the Concordia College, Moorhead, Religion Department, has developed materials for training off campus "outreach teams" about worship leadership. He may be reached by calling Concordia College at (218) 299-4100.