Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Looking to the New Year

STUDENT MINISTRY: Looking to the New Year

      These last few years have been full of ups and downs for all of us. Between the pandemic, unstable church attendance and crazy social and political issues, staying motivated and focused on our purpose as student ministry workers has been hard at times. We have had to navigate Zoom youth group, masks, social distancing, the return to normal services and the rise in the anxiety of our students. The only real constant in student ministry is change, but we have had a crazy time of it since 2020. With the New Year just around the corner, it is a great time to evaluate where you are and where your youth ministry is.

      Since no two churches are alike, we shouldn’t expect our student ministries to be cookie-cutter images of one another. In fact, your student ministry will adapt and change slightly every year as students enter and others graduate. Sometimes, those transitions happen at the normal times, the beginning and end of school years. However, course corrections may be necessary mid-year to get back on track.

      The question remains, “How?” How do we evaluate our current situation and look into necessary changes?

         • Look at your mission. Being an auxiliary of your church, your student ministry should reflect the mission and vision of the congregation as a whole. If your congregation doesn’t have a specific mission or vision statement, know that a student ministry exists to help your students become more devoted followers of Jesus. Are you focused on that primary purpose or has your youth group become a social club? It is not an easy question to ask yourself, but it is an important one.

      • Look at your teaching. Our lessons and sermons are of primary importance. Students receive a lot of information through YouTube and TikTok, but can they trust it? More often than not, the answer is no. As caring adults in the church, we need to give them a steady diet of the Word that their parents can build upon.

         • Look at your volunteer squad. Are they on the same page when it comes to purpose and focus? If we don’t intentionally discuss these issues with our volunteers, our ministry can be pulled in different directions. It is important to have leaders with different strengths and areas of emphasis, but your squad needs to move forward together.

         • Look at your own spiritual disciplines. As the leader of your group, it is important to take a close look at how faithful you are in reading the Word, praying, sharing your faith, giving and worshipping. Our commitment, as leaders, is reflected in those God has put under our care. Whether you are a youth pastor or a Sunday School teacher, your students are looking at what is going on in your life and what you hold as important. Besides being an example, we minister out of these disciplines, and our goal is to minister out of the overflow.

      The end of the year and the beginning of a new one is a great time to look back and make necessary changes in our ministries. Seek God’s direction as you pray and commit yourself to helping your students become more devoted followers of Jesus.