I found this great little gem of a post by Kyle Sullivan, Student Pastor at Community Baptist Church in Oklahoma. It sets some great guidelines to use for setting expectation levels.
You can find a tease of the article below, the rest can be found here.
So we all have expectations. Whether they are good or bad, we have them.
I feel this is the same for student ministry and the students that each of us have coming to our ministries. And churches all over will have stage time given to talking about getting involved and what the expectation is for a member of the church, however I think we sometimes fail the students by not placing expectations on them for the ministry they attend. I feel if we neglect expectations in our students, then our ministries will suffer and we, as the student pastors, could easily get burned out.
Expectations Pushes Personal Growth
I think back to when I was in student ministry and my student pastor gave me areas of our ministry to own and take control of even before I was saved because he saw leadership qualities in me. Student pastors and leaders need to be on the lookout for those students that can grow with a little push from us as a mentor and pastor. When students start to grow, they serve more. So start them out small and see what happens. Some of your best student leaders can sometimes be the least likely because they are just needing a push in the right direction.
Expectations Excel Spiritual Maturity
We all want our students to become sold out followers of Christ. I have not ever talked to or read something from a student pastor or leader in ministry that would say anything different. So we need to give our students expectations of what we would want to see them do in the disciplines of the faith to see their faith grow. I have seen this play out in students that have stepped up to help lead a Sunday morning small group discussion because they were asked and then months later the same student is leading a Bible study on their own with their friends not from church at school. It all started with putting an expectation on them to grow spiritually.