I love the book, “the 7 checkpoints” by Andy Stanley. Andy is the lead pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia. This is an excellent book that challenged me. It helped me and gave me some of my philosophy in our student ministry. He challenges us on 7 major things, and I have taken this, and applied it to our student ministry, well, some of it. Here are 5 things that I try to preach on each year in our student ministry. Obviously, I preach on many other things throughout the year, but I try to speak on these topics each year in different formats and designs:
- The Gospel– I try not to be judgmental, but in a student ministry our size, it is hard to believe that everyone in there is a believer. Also, if you are not having visitors enter your student ministry, something is wrong. The Gospel should be included in every student ministry setting. Sometimes, we speak specifically to the church, but somewhere, the Gospel needs to be implemented, and people need to be given a chance and explanation of how to accept Jesus into their lives.
- Relationships– Students need to be reminded of the importance of choosing Godly friends. They need to constantly be warned about the direction that they are headed can be determined by who they are hanging around. Students do not see the value of this principle, because they only see the “right now,” but as they get older, they do see that friends play a vital role in the direction that they are headed at the time.
- Choices/Decisions– Students need to be taught how to make Biblical decisions. After all, when they graduate youth group, they will be making some of the biggest decisions of their life with who to date and marry, what college to attend, what occupation to study, and where to work. We must teach them the importance of making good and wise decisions so that when they graduate, they can make wise decisions.
- Sharing their faith– Students have the biggest platform of anyone when it comes to sharing their faith. Many students attend rather large public schools, and come in contact with thousands of people each day. Some days, I only come in contact with the people who I work with here in the church office. Students are bombarded with people, and we must teach them the importance of sharing the Gospel with them, and teach them how to share the Gospel with others.
- Obedience to parents– Parents will echo this. I oftentimes send out a questionnaire to my parents asking them what topics would they like to see addressed to students, and this one is always mentioned. It is something that ALL students struggle with, and they need to be reminded about the Biblical principle of honoring and obeying their parents.
- Sex/Dating/Purity– This is a biggie! I addressed this recently, and it goes over well. It is something that you need to address regularly, because it is something that students are going to struggle with. Culture and Hollywood have distorted the view of sex to our students. Therefore, because they are bombarded with what culture and society thinks so heavily, we must give them what the Bible says about these things.
- Communication– I go through a series on communicating every year. I discuss social media, because that is the top way that students are communicating today. I also discuss gossip, and the dangers that it brings. It is important for students to understand that their words can destroy others. When speaking of this, make sure that you mention the importance of using your tongue for good like sharing the Gospel or building someone else up.
If you have another format that you use in your student ministry, please share. I would love to hear it. You can comment below: