I blogged a while back about keeping students in church after graduation. You can check it out here. Last week, the topic of discussion from our youth pastor fellowship was about transitioning into the student ministry and out of the student ministry. We discussed several ideas, and it seems that we can boil down to 4 things that we can do to help keep students in church after graduation:
- Ownership– This came up quite frequently in our discussion. Students want ownership. They want to feel a part. Every student is seeking acceptance, and owning a ministry or job in a church can help them with that acceptance factor. It can also connect them to think that they are NEEDED in that church!
- Service– They must be serving in the local church! Connect them to a ministry and allow for them to serve. It may be to serve on the worship team or in the media department, but connect your students to the local church before they graduate high school!
- Relationships– This generation is the most relational that it has ever been! Students everywhere are craving genuine relationships with other people their age. It is essential that they have relationships in your church in order for them to stay faithful in the church after graduation. This is true whether they stay at your church or go off to college somewhere we they need to join a new church.
- Group– They need a group! This age needs a place. Remember, they are coming out of a youth ministry where there is a structured program. It is weird and a serious adjustment for them to jump into “big church” from a youth group. I think that it is important for you to have a Bible study group and possibly a service for this age group as they transition into adulthood.