Philosophy is extremely important to student ministry. Now, before we get into seeing what a student ministry’s philosophy is all about, we must understand what philosophy is. It in essence is a set of views and theories of a philosopher. That set of views or philosophy will drive what that philosopher does, because it is at the core of why he is doing what he is doing. So, as we look into philosophy, what is a student ministry philosophy?
- Sharing the Gospel with Jesus is your main purpose– Now, ultimately, your main purpose is to glorify Christ. We are supposed to do all things to the glory of Christ (I Cor. 10:31). So, that at its core is our main purpose, but a result of glorifying Christ will be sharing the Gospel! The Gospel is the only thing that can transform your students! Not your program, your personality, your games, or anything else can transform a person, but THE person, Jesus Christ! Your main philosophy and purpose of why you do what you do is to share the Gospel. Make sure that everything that you do has the Gospel implemented into it! Somehow keep this as your purpose as you schedule events, and such.
- Training and partnering with parents– This has been ignored for years in student ministry it seems, and now there is this huge plethora of ideas for partnering and training parents of our students. Still, this (at its core) should be a part of your philosophy. When you decide what curriculum, or what event you are doing, you should always have in your mind somehow to inform, connect, train, and partner with your parents!
- Training leaders– As your ministry grows, it is essential to add leaders. Leaders will take you to another level. If you look at the large student ministries out there, it did not happen with one guy. It took a team working together, and it is essential that you put together and form a team of leaders who share the same goal of reaching students. Make sure that you schedule times to train and disciple your leaders. Do not complain about your leaders if you have not spent any time all year training them for their position.
This is very simple and elementary when it comes to student ministry education, but it is essential for the effectiveness of our student ministry that we keep these three things at the core of our philosophy.