Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Healthy Student Ministry - Outwardly Focused

STUDENT MINISTRY: Signs of a Healthy Student Ministry – Outwardly Focused

Student ministry can be a tricky thing. If we aren’t careful, it can be entirely focused on activity and fun. One of the big things I have learned over the years is that type of impact is fleeting. We may have had big numbers and lots of involvement, however, the underlying principles of our ministries may not have been set on solid concepts. If we want to have a lasting impact on our students, we must focus on the right things.

One of those right things is having an outwardly focused mindset. We must look beyond the walls of our student rooms and church buildings to see the lost students in our schools, families and neighborhoods. By and large, the church does a great job of taking care of its own. Students from our church families end up taking priority in our dollars and effort. However, God has called us to do more than that. We are called to be Great Commission churches with Great Commission student ministries.

How do we work toward that end? How do we encourage our students to think about the eternal state of their friends, family members and world? Here are some ideas to help get you started:

• Teach on the subject. That may seem like an obvious answer response, but we can fall into the trap of teaching about the things parents think are important and that isn’t always the same emphasis. The Bible teaches that we are to carry the name of Jesus with us into the world and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). That must be clear to our students. We can share what the Word says about it. We can let them know how Jesus is working through missionaries and para-church organizations around the world. We can share with them how we are telling others about Jesus. All those things can be a part of our teaching time.

• Train them how to share. Many students say that they don’t know how to talk about their faith, and that is true. In our increasingly secular world, it is vital that we train our students how to navigate hard conversations and how to effectively share Jesus. At a bare minimum, your students should be taught how to walk through the verses of the Roman Road. Are your students capable of leading someone to Jesus? Are you able? If not, spend some time training yourself and your students.

• Encourage them to pray for their lost friends, family and classmates. Students in the public school walk in one of the greatest mission fields. As students begin to pray for the lost in their schools, their hearts will soften and their awareness will grow. Don’t forget the power of prayer to change the one praying.

• Provide intentional opportunities for your students to invite their friends. While we don’t want to fall into the trap of all activities all the time, we do want to provide open doors for students to reach out. The primary focus in this is being intentional. Let your students know that the upcoming event is an opportunity to bring a lost or unchurched friend.

• Point students toward short-term mission trips. While there is some debate about the power of short-term mission trips for what can be accomplished in ministry during that short time, there should be no doubt about how it can impact the students on the trip. Young men and women have the opportunity to see the world differently when they leave their comfort zone and share Jesus. It pushes and challenges them in ways they may never experience in their own community. Volunteer Student Missions (VSM) with the BMA Global is a great way for teenagers to join the mission work. Reach out to Angela Rice (angela@bmaam.com) and the team at BMA Global for more information.

While we haven’t even touched on community involvement and other local mission options, it is clear that we need to be thinking outwardly with our student ministries. If we hope to see the kingdom grow and our students live in obedience, we want to be outwardly-focused.

How has your church done this well? Join the conversation at Facebook.com/groups/StudentMinistryMattersCommunity.

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