I am no expert when it comes to student ministry. I am trying to learn what works, etc just like the next guy. Today, I was writing a good friend of mine, Jonathan Moody, about youth ministry, and figured I would share some of the thoughts that I shared with him. He is doing a great work at Caraway Baptist Church in Sophia, NC. I encourage you to check him out and try and connect with him, because he is one of those young guys that God could use to change this world! I shared some things with him that I learned that can take youth group to a whole new level:
- Ownership: The students want ownership. I blog about ownership a lot, but it is because I believe it is that important! The students want it their own. Recently, a group of our students came to me and wanted to get together and discuss the Grove. I was like sure…so, we went to Bojangles! By the way, I love Bojangles. Just sayin… The students wanted more involvement, because they felt they did not have responsibility. I was amazed and thankful. So, since then, i have given them ample opportunities to lead, plan, and serve! This next generation desires ownership, and we must give it to them. I am just now learning this. I am not an expert at it. In fact, I did not do this at the church I come from. I failed at it, but it is something that we as youth leaders must do. Step aside, and let some students take the reigns…under your leadership, of course!
- Service: The next generation desires to change the world! I believe this. Now, maybe not all of them, but I would venture to say most of them have that same passion. They love serving. I have had more students come to service opportunities than fun activities. They desire service. Get your students involved in the local rescue mission, raising money to help people suffering from the tornadoes, the handicap sports leagues, etc. They love this stuff and it puts things into perspective for them!
- Student Leadership: If you do not have a student leadership team in your ministry, you need one! Now, it does not matter if your group is small. I tried to get this going at the church I started at, and I only had like 2 signed up for it. I just let it go under the bus. I felt I needed 8-10 interested, but you have to start somewhere. I should have ran with those 2 and had them lead praying that more would follow. I didn’t though.
- Lay Leadership: I understand now the value of lay leaders. Wow, what a great group of amazing leaders we have at the Grove! It is amazing. You need to get people who carry the same vision and desires that you have for your ministry. You will go as far as your leadership goes. By the way, this includes you! If you are not constantly being molded and conformed into the image of Christ, don’t expect your students to be!