The church must invest in student ministry. It can’t be an afterthought. There must be some concrete ways the church is helping to invite in, raise up, share Jesus and incorporate students into the life of their congregation.
Here are some ways every church should invest in student ministry:
Depending on the size of your congregation and your ministry area, a church should invest in student ministry leadership. Paying for someone to help lead the way is an investment, but an important one. A church should also invest in helping to equip those who serve in student ministry. If you’re a smaller church, money spent in equipping part-time or volunteer youth workers in extremely important. Send your ministry leaders to a conference or training event. If you’re in the Illinois area, The Well for Youth Workers is one to try out. If you’re having trouble finding a youth worker, here are some ideas.
Every church should be praying for their students. Pray for the students and families in your church and in your community. Pray for the schools and pray for teachers. Pray for your student ministry leaders and volunteers. Pray for more students. Highlight the importance of prayer for the next generation through a prayer calendar, a prayer email reminder, prayer groups, prayer times before student ministry meetings and in personal prayer times as staff and leaders.
Through Strong Children’s Ministry
One overarching way to invest in a student ministry is to keep investing in a strong children’s ministry. A great ministry to kids is one of the gateways to reaching the community. As children grow through the ministry, they begin looking forward to student ministry. Here are some children’s ministry ideas for your church.
Through Special Ministry Events
It’s not always easy, but one thing a church of any size can do is get students to special ministry events. The general statistics are motivating: a large percentage of believers made a decision to follow Christ before the age of 18 and of those, a huge percentage do so in special ministry event settings. Do your best as a church to encourage attendance at summer camps, weekend conferences, and retreats. A student ministry can’t live on special events alone, but these are great vehicles for making a one-shot impact in the faith lives of teens. Here are a handful of events we host each year!
There are always seasons of ministry for any church. Don’t be discouraged if things aren’t clicking right now, step back, pray, gather a team of leaders and see what can be done. God has your church right where it needs to be and it’s filled with the people and the gifts to do what needs to be done. Pray that a focus on the next generation will rise up within your church.