Thursday, May 23, 2024
Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Creating Community in Student Ministry

STUDENT MINISTRY: Creating Community in Student Ministry

When we think about youth group, we naturally have to think about community. If your youth group has no sense of community, then it is really just a youth class that meets at your church. Our students need more than just a weekly dose of spiritual knowledge. They need a faith community that helps them grow. They need brothers and sisters in Christ to lean on when it is hard. Young or old, God made us for community.

When we look at these concepts, it is important to understand the progression. Our goal is to move our students from class to community to connection. In episode 171 of the Student Ministry Matters podcast, Chris Vines and I discuss moving our students from community to connection, but we sometimes struggle to even get them to that middle ground. How do we move from just a youth class to a community within our church?

• Teach on the subject. Help them understand their need for one another. In our culture, students can often think that consuming spiritual content is enough. Clearly, it isn’t. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to not forsake the gathering. While that focuses on the congregation, it can be applied to any of your faith groups within your congregation. We need one another, and our students need to first see this on a knowledge level.

• Have them spend time together. What opportunities are you scheduling for your students to spend time with one another? It doesn’t take a big event. My group at Temple Baptist Church of Rogers would spend time on Thursdays during the summer eating lunch together. It wasn’t anything unique. It simply allowed our students to spend some time together. You can also take your group to a conference, camp or on a mission trip. Shared time is always needed for community to develop.

• Have them serve together. There is nothing like having your students work together on a project. It can be raking leaves, serving a local food bank or caring for the elderly of your church. A group that serves together will have shared memories and experiences.

• Share your desire with the parents. If your parents aren’t on board for this emphasis, you are not going to make much headway. They may see your desire to schedule activities as simply planning goofy things for the teenagers. The parents connected to your ministry need to understand your intentional choices as you move forward.

Moving from class to community won’t happen overnight. It will take time, so be patient as you step through the process. Just keep on loving your students and be intentional as you make decisions in regard to your teaching and activity.