Student Ministry: Fight It or Fund It

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Perry Noble recently shared a podcast about how the wave begins in student ministry.  At a ball game, the energy of the wave has to begin somewhere – and once it does, everyone joins in.  For the church, the wave begins in ministry to the next generation.

Ministry to the next generation is so imperative.  The church must focus on this at all costs.  We need to work to create the kinds of environments where kids and students wake up parents on Sunday morning so they can come to church. The biggest mission field in the world is individuals under 18 years old.  The need for great ministries to children and students is alive and well.  As Perry mentioned, never let anyone talk you into believing that ministry to the next generation through the local church is dead. We need to pursue children and students and create a place for them.

It’s true that church attendance is shrinking across North America. The ways things are going, Christians in our culture will probably, in the near future, become the underdogs.  Probably now more than ever, the next generation needs a chance to hear the gospel message.

The younger generation needs to bring the freshness.  The older generation brings in the faithfulness.  We need both.  We need the tempered reality from the older generation who has lived through the struggles, has seen it all happen, has been through the fire and has remained faithful to follow Jesus.  They are able to nurture and model faithful living in the next generation.  It’s a big challenge and a calling that every believer has.

The young generation brings a sense of freshness.  They are able to help spur on new ways of doing ministry.  They bring a risk taking attitude that comes from a fresh and young faith.  They bring a desire to see change.  They go all in.  All of these characteristics are needed for the church to be faithful to the gospel. Both freshness and faithfulness makes the church strong.

During the podcast, Perry commented on the ministry and obligation the older generation has toward student ministry: they either fight it or fund it.

When I was young, I loved fund raisers.  I know lots of student ministry groups still do them.  There probably are good lessons to be learned from raising your own funds in student ministry.  But, maybe it’s not a good idea to limit the ministry to the funds raised at a youth car wash or candy bar sales.  That’s too small!  If you’re not helping to fund it, then you are fighting the ministry. I know of many churches who have stopped youth ministry fundraisers all together and just ask the congregation to step in and make it happen.

The church needs to help sustain ministry to the next generation in powerful, purposeful and generous ways.

If there is a perception that ministry to children and students is dying in our churches, it may because we aren’t focusing and investing in the right area. It’s been said that the church is one generation away from becoming extinct. It’s the job of this generation to give witness to Christ’s great love for the next generation.

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The church needs to help sustain ministry to the next generation in powerful, purposeful and generous ways.




Churches need leaders who can minister to students.  Churches need to fund ministry that reaches out to the next generation. Churches need to understand the impact of welcoming children and students.

Too many kids are coming from such brokenness and there isn’t any place for them to belong. Kids are searching for some place to belong. The reality is they are searching for something. They probably won’t show up to church, but they they will come and have fun and it’s a step toward meeting Jesus. Kids walk away from the church because they feel like sin loves them more than the church does. It’s understandable at times for student ministry to take a toll on the church – it’s not easy.  But patience and kindness of a faithful church family can help bring a sense of a repentant heat in the lives of students.

Not to put the burden on one person, but as Perry mentioned, if the senior pastor is not one of the biggest fans and advocates for student and children ministry, then it will become a barrier for growth.  Senior leaders must make it a priority.  If we aren’t funding it and making it a priority, we’re fighting it.


You can listen to the Perry’s Podcast here.

Here are some ideas for churches who currently don’t have any students or children in their congregation.

Here’s the best way to keep students in church.



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the well

Youth Ministry Training – Available Now!  The notes from The Well last fall include:

  • The importance of vision and how it’s used to transfer ministry to others in the congregation
  • How to combat busyness with intentional leadership
  • How your calling shapes your vision
  • Why the five levels of delegation are so important to develop key ministry leaders
  • How documented information helps grow and develop your volunteer team
  • And more!

All the files, documents, notes, PowerPoint, and other resources are available for you now in a buy-now-buttonsimple digital download for $9.99!  Once you purchase the link, you will have immediate access!


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