Starting a Student Leadership Program

5GH programWhether you are looking to create a student leadership program for the preteens IN your Children’s Ministry, OR if you want to start a program for the student leaders in your preteen ministry, this page will help you get started and moving in the right direction.

When Sean Sweet first came on staff at Destiny Church, the 1st-5th grade students were all together. His first step in creating a preteen ministry was creating a program within the existing Children’s Ministry called “Fifth Grade Helpers”.

For over a decade, this program has been evolving as a discipleship program, specifically focused on helping students learn to serve the Church, develop leadership skills, and to build relationships with others who are dedicated to serving the church.

It has created long-lasting servants, many who are now adults and who continue to serve the Church and maintain friendships with the others who served with them back when they were preteens.

On this page, we are going to:

  • Break down some of the elements of the Fifth Grade Helper program so that you can glean ideas for your own student leadership program.  If you’re looking for a short overview of the program, we recorded this podcast a while back
  • Give you some things to think about as you get started on creating your own student leadership program.

If you listen to everything on this page and would still like more information (scope and sequence for our program, examples of specific forms and objectives, etc.), contact Sean at



Why start a student leadership program? What is a student leadership program anyway?



How do I choose the leaders for my student leadership program?

Here is the Contract that is mentioned in this episode.


What does a typical student leadership meeting look like?

Each meeting has three components (about 10-15 minutes each):

  1. Leadership Challenge (aka Lord of the Flies activity)
  2. A Short Leadership Lesson
  3. Skills Training.



How do I get started?

Now that you’ve heard about how a successful student leadership program can run, it’s time to plan the start of your own.

In this section’s podcast, you’ll hear Sean give four ideas to get your student leadership program started in the right direction:

  1. Organizing your first season of the program
  2. Involving another leader to help manage the program
  3. Charging a nominal fee for students to participate
  4. Thinking about where the program is leading students


4 thoughts on “Starting a Student Leadership Program

  1. Do you have your 13 week program available to look at or to purchase? I’m wanting to create a leadership program with our preteen ministry, but I’m looking for some more guidance on specifically how your program is structured, what the student leadership break out meetings cover, and so on. How did you write the program? What resources did you use to develop it? I’d like to find a good program to launch from that I could tweak to fit our ministry’s specific needs. Thanks!

  2. I currently have an apprentice program that is very similar to this idea but I would like to take it to the next level…would you be able to share the information that you are sharing with Rachel? TIA!

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