Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Health Student Ministry: Bible-Centric

STUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Health Student Ministry: Bible-Centric

As we continue thinking about characteristics of a healthy student ministry, we want to look at our second sign, being Bible-centric. As Baptists, we are people that love the Word deeply. Bart Barber, current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, indicated on a recent Preachers and Preaching podcast that “Southern Baptists are people of the Book.” I would say that we, as BMA Baptists, can agree whole-heartedly with that statement. We are people who hold the Bible in high esteem. However, there is a tendency in our student ministries to look to other sources for our lessons. By and large, our lessons are biblical, but sometimes not Bible-centric. We lean on topical studies rather than working our way through books of the Bible.

If we truly want healthy student ministries, we need to be Bible-centric. The Word needs to be held in high regard. How do we do that? Here are some places to start:

• Talk with your lead pastor about your desire to make the Bible your main student textbook. If your ministry has been largely focused on teaching topically, you are going to need support from your leadership in making a change. Change is never easy. We often think it is only the senior citizens in our churches who don’t like change, but students also find comfort in “the same.” Be ready for some growing pains.

• Embrace the power of God’s Word to work in your students’ lives. The Word of God is powerful. II Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” We can trust that a deep study of God’s Word will prepare your students for their life now and ahead.

• Make sure you are studying God’s Word personally. As student ministry workers, we can fall into the trap of only studying to prepare for the next lesson. Our goal should always be to teach and preach out of the overflow. This can be a greater challenge for the bivocational student ministry worker. There are only so many hours in the day and week, but it is worth the extra work. Lean into resources like Logos Bible Software. Find ways to make it happen for you and your students.

It seems strange for us to talk about the need for us to make God’s Word a priority, but as I have mentioned before, there is a tendency for us to be more interested in behavioral modification than gospel transformation. As people of the Word, it should always be about the transforming power of God and His Word.