Over the past five years, we have made significant changes to the BMA of Arkansas Youth Department. It has shifted from an activity provider to a support system for those working with students in ministry settings. I believe this is the best use of our time and energy as a department. We invest in those that are seeking to impact the next generation for Jesus Christ in Arkansas and beyond. We have adopted the name Student Ministry Matters as we seek to show this new focus. In addition, we have done two major things:
• We have established the Student Ministry Workers Retreat. This annual day training/retreat is aimed at student ministry workers of all kinds. If you are a full-time, bi-vocational or volunteer, our annual event is for you. Go ahead and mark your calendars for this year’s retreat on the campus of Central Baptist College on Sept. 17.
• We have started the Student Ministry Matters podcast. This weekly podcast offers instruction, interviews and ideas for those working with students. We have reached 47 states and 25
different countries as Chris Vines and I have talked about a variety of student ministry topics. With over 100 episodes and 8,000+ downloads, there is a lot of great content that can be accessed through your podcast platform of choice or at studentminsitrymatters.podbean.com.
I thank those of you who have
stepped come alongside of us and supported our change in focus. There are approximately 10 churches around the BMA of Arkansas that support our ministry on a monthly basis with gifts that range from $10 to $350 per month. For us to continue to move forward and help more student ministry workers, we need more churches to commit to monthly giving.
You might think, “There is no return for us. We don’t even have a youth group.” Even if you don’t have a youth group, your investment can still make a significant difference in the lives of student ministry workers around the state and country. It allows for our podcast to continue and our community of student ministry workers to grow. I know we have all felt the decline in youth pastor numbers. If we provide more support to these valuable individuals, I believe there will be less walking away from youth ministry. If your church would consider becoming a part of our monthly financial support, it would make a significant impact. While my role with the Youth Department is part-time for me (my first duty is to my church), I would be more than happy to come and share with your church about our ministry.
Perhaps you can’t commit to giving to our organization
on a monthly basis. A one-time gift would help us as we seek to make the most of the funding that God sends our way. Here are a few of our larger expenses over the course of the year:
• $174 per year for our podcast hosting (Podbean)
• $119.40 per year for publishing tool (Canva)
• $72 per year for our social media distribution service (Buffer)
• $119.88 per year for website (IONOS)
• $20.17 per year for domain name (IONOS)
• $1,000 for promotional items for students and student ministry workers at SOAR 2022
In way of future expenses, we are considering joining the Christian Podcast Community as a way to share our conversations about student ministry and Student Ministry Matters. The cost is between $10-20 per month with a set-up fee of $50. Again, a one-time gift of $290 would allow us to see if this would be beneficial to our ministry.
In addition, we are always looking for sponsors for our annual Student Ministry Workers Retreat. If you would like to help us by providing for a portion of our expenses, please contact me. I can share with you a list of the different areas of cost.
As the smallest of the departments in the BMA of Arkansas, I sometimes struggle asking for additional supporters. BMA of Arkansas Missions, Central Baptist College and the Baptist Trumpet deserve our full support. However, I believe that investing in students and those that work with them holds significant value. We are talking about the future of the church. When I remember that, the struggles fade away. Help us help those that are investing in the next generation.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more questions or mail donations to BMA of AR Youth Department, c/o Calvary Baptist Church, 1410 North Porter Road, Fayetteville, Ark. 72703. Please make all checks out to BMA of AR Youth Department.