Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Changing Direction In Your Teaching Plan

STUDENT MINISTRY: Changing Direction In Your Teaching Plan

Student ministry workers are often stereotyped as not having the ability to plan. By and large, I would say that is not the case. Most student pastors are working hard to impact their students and know they have to do a great deal of planning to accomplish their goals for their ministries. Those that are bi-vocational must do extra planning just to make it through as they serve in their churches, families and workplaces. Prayer-infused planning is a marker of a successful student ministry worker. That is especially true in the area of teaching and preaching. It is important to have a solid plan for the year and beyond. However, there are times when that plan needs to be set aside for something different. Determining when to make that change can be a bit of a challenge. When determining whether or not to make a change, there are at least three reasons to not make a shift:

• You have grown bored with the current book of the Bible and want to move on to something else. If you prayerfully considered what to cover, this may have more to do with you than anything else. Take some time for prayer and seek to recommit yourself to finding God’s Word for your students in the passages you are studying.

• Studying has grown difficult, and you would prefer to avoid the hard passages. Your students are going to see your avoidance of the passage as taking the easy way out. Dig in and get to the heart of the passage.

• A change might be easier for you. You may have some lessons or sermons in your “back pocket” and a shift might be the easier thing for your schedule. Don’t go down that road. Invest the time in your lessons and sermons. Know that your students deserve your hard work.

Beyond the reasons not to make a change in your teaching plan, there are things to consider as you evaluate your current situation:

• How is the Holy Spirit leading? Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you lead and teach your students. Acts 16:9 is a prime example of this. The ministry team was sharing the gospel and doing good things, but then the Holy Spirit gave them a course correction. We can be doing good and godly things, but the Father may have something else in mind for us. We need to be sensitive to the prompting of the Spirit.

• What are the needs of my group? Our culture is ever shifting. There are times when we will need to speak to topics and subjects that are impacting our students. Be aware of what is going on with your people.

• How can I best shepherd my students? We need to be aware of how our teaching plan is leading our students in their spiritual walk. There can be moments when awareness will lead us in different directions than what we spent time planning for that week.

Some of us handle change better than others. You may be the one looking for a reason to change your plan. Let me encourage you to evaluate the situation carefully. Don’t just do it because it is easier. Think about the long-term impact of what you are working through with your students. They need a well-rounded understanding of God’s Word, and you are the one God has placed in their lives.

— This article is adapted from information Chris Vines shared during our recent podcast on the subject. Chris is the co-host of the Student Ministry Matters Podcast and Student Pastor at Garrett Memorial Baptist Church in Hope. Check it out at or join the conversation at