Monday, April 2, 2007

Growing a Student Ministry

I have been asked 5 times in the past week or so the question “Brian, how do you grow a student ministry?” Not that I am an expert, nor do I have all the answers but as I think through this I came up with a few things. As you know, I’m not big on writing a lot and I am a horrible speller so I try to keep all I do short. So here is a short answer to that question in no certain order.

1. Relationships – You must be able to connect with students in their world. You can not be too good for them. Just hang out with and relate to students. This means you need to be involved in the student ministry you have! Examples are: school lunches, sporting events, band stuff, awards banquets, graduations and any other event a student might be involved in. Support your teens.
2. Build Connections – If you are a student pastor you should know all the head coaches and their staff’s, all Principals, AD’s, school administration, FCA directors, business men in your community, and anyone else who can help you get to students.
3. Excellence – Remember the parents make the final call. For them to be sold on your student ministry you must be excellent in all you do. Work hard at making your student ministry the best in town.
4. Leadership – Everyone wants someone to follow! In student ministry that someone must be you! When the schools need something they should call you, when students need help they should call you (or one of your volunteers that you are training). You should be influence on school campuses and in your community. There is a lot that could go here but you can add more than I just by thinking about it. Leaders are not always liked but they are respected!
5. Be Evangelistic. The student ministries I see grow the most are driven with evangelism. All are also strong in discipleship through their home groups or small groups on Sunday AM but most of them have strong evangelism. Share Christ and get your students to share Christ! Give them ways to do this. I do 2 big events a year on Wednesday night simply for our students to bring their lost friends too. We then also drive lost students to camp, d-now and any other event we might do.
6. Learn – Don’t think you know it all. We can learn something from anyone. Be a learner. Sometimes the students can teach you more about your job than you would ever imagine. Ask them!!!
7. Have Fun!!! You must love what you do!!!!

Here @ Grand we have a long way to go. I believe God is doing something great here and the students have a true vision for their town. That is the key. If the students have a vision to make a difference they will!!!! We have a lot of students with a lot of vision.

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