Student leaders are the backbone of every NCF chapter. Ensuring leadership continuity needs to be a high priority for every chapter. Here is a step-by-step guide to identify and develop new leaders:
Step 1: Prayerfully Identify Potential Leaders
- God knows the hearts of every NCF student (1 Samuel 16:7), and he knows who can provide leadership for NCF in the future! Take time to pray and ask the Lord for discernment and wisdom in this process.
- As you pray, consider this acronym: FIT. Who in your chapter shows evidence of:
- Faithfulness. They are faithful in following Jesus...and faithful in participating in NCF.
- Influential. They are seen as a leader by peers...and they invite others into the community.
- Teachable. They are responsive to Jesus...and want to learn from current NCF leaders.
- Make a list of potential leaders that fit these categories. These are the students you will invite to be apprentices (see Step 2).
Step 2: Invite Potential Leaders to be Apprentices
- Inviting someone into leadership involves casting good vision for them. You want to articulate the WHY and the WHAT.
- WHY: Share from your heart why you want them to be an NCF leader and what you see in them. E.g. “As I’ve prayed about NCF, your name keeps coming to mind as a great potential leader! I love how you participate at every Bible study and how eagerly you invite your friends to join. I admire your faith in Jesus and how you try to live that out every day in nursing school.”
- WHAT: Share about the commitment you are asking for--just to apprentice. E.g. “I’d love to ask you to consider being an Apprentice this semester. That’s like being an NCF leader-in-training. You don’t have to decide 100% that you’ll be a leader next year, but it will be a great opportunity to try leadership on for size and learn some NCF leadership skills. What do you think?”
- By God’s grace, at least one of the people you invite will say yes!
Step 3: Train on Essential Skills
- Together with your leadership team, make a list of 3-5 essential skills for every NCF leader (don’t exceed 5 skills). Train your Apprentice(s) in these skills. Here are some examples:
- Leading a Bible Study
- Inviting and Recruiting
- Follow-up and Caring for NCF Students
- Planning and Leading Special Events
- Spiritual Conversations and Evangelism
- Plan to meet with the Apprentice(s) to work through each of the skills. You can choose to do one skill each time you meet...or do several together.
- Follow the general guideline of a little teaching, a lot practicum. We learn by doing! For example:
- Take 5-10 minutes to explain to the Apprentice how you prepare and lead a Bible study. You don’t need to be an expert at training! Just share what you know and what you do.
- Then prepare the next Bible study together and challenge the Apprentice to lead it at the next meeting.
Step 4: Develop and Share Clear Leadership Expectations
- Together with your leadership team, draft a simple, clear document that explains what the responsibilities of NCF leadership are (if you don’t have this). Be sure to include the responsibilities of each NCF leadership role, if you have specific roles in your chapter.
- When your Apprentice(s) have learned the essential skills, invite each of them to take on a leadership role next year. In the conversation, share the document so they know what they are expecting and review the NCF Purpose and the Doctrinal Basis with them.
Step 5: Pass the Baton Well
- Recognize the new leadership team publicly, whether at an NCF meeting or in another setting. Have the current leadership team pray for and commission the new leadership team in that setting as a sign of affirmation and blessing.
- Send the new leaders’ contact information to NCF so that we can include them in future communications!
- Give your notes from Step 3 and Step 4 to the new leadership team so they won’t have to recreate this process next year!
By following these guidelines, you’ll have a leadership pipeline that will keep your chapter functioning for years to come so that new generations of nursing students can experience life in Christ as part of the NCF community.