Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Healthy Student Ministry-Church Integrated

STUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Healthy Student Ministry-Church Integrated

As we finish our series on a healthy student ministry, we want to take a look at one of the most important things that tends to get overlooked. In an effort to reach students and provide an age-related focus, we can often create a student ministry that is separate from the church as a whole. This is often referred to as a “silo” mindset. This approach will lead to ministries fighting for budget dollars and disunity in the church.

Student ministry is ultimately an auxiliary of the church. While the groups are not as popular as in years past, there was an understanding among BMA Baptists that Galileans, GMAs, Sunbeams, Brotherhood and WMAs serve as auxiliaries of the church. They do not stand as separate entities. Our student ministries exist in the same way. They are to support the work of your church as a whole. Your students should not think that involvement in your youth group is enough. That is an incomplete church experience. Your students need to be integrated into the church as a whole.

In Heb. 10:24-25 (ESV), we find a reason to stress this point: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Our students need to be stirred up to good works by the body and not just the student ministry worker.

So, how do we help create this culture in our churches and youth groups? It isn’t an easy process, especially if this is a major shift. Let’s look at three things:

• Get your people praying for your students. We have talked about prayer more than once as we have worked our way through this series. Prayer should be our starting point in all we do for the Father, not the last resort. It is the beginning step. Enlist your church body to pray for your students by name. Speak with the prayer warriors in your congregation. Speak to the adult Sunday School classes and give them the names and grade levels of your students. Put their faces in front of your congregation and pray.

• Get your people to be present in your students’ lives. It is easy to think, “I have done the school program thing. I don’t want to go to any more of those, especially if this isn’t my child.” It means the world to students when people show up to their events. Just think of the impact it will have when a church member shows up just for them. They may not admit that they enjoyed it, but you will be making long-term investments in their lives. They just need to know you are there for them.

• Get your students to participate in a Youth Sunday. While it may seem like an old-fashioned idea, students can gain a lot from a day of service within the church. The adults will see and support them, and your students will see that ministry is possible at all sorts of ages. Joel Young at Summers Baptist Church of Summers makes this a regular part of his ministry. Reach out to him at joel.young@summersbaptistchurch.org if you have any questions.

Integration into the church as a whole is an important part of a healthy student ministry. The student ministry cannot simply exist as an outside organization that just happens to be housed at your church building. The mission and vision of the student ministry should align with that of the body. Make sure you are working with your pastor to improve that alignment all throughout the year.