Objections to the Christian Faith from the Unchurched and De-Churched
Tue Dec 02, 2014
Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
Tue Oct 14, 2014
Mark Driscoll: Revelation
Tue Oct 07, 2014
RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
5 Things Every Student Ministry Must Have To Be Successful
Cultivating a thriving youth ministry takes vision, faith, and lots of hard work. Here is some practical advice for building a successful student ministry.
From Pastor Adam Ramsey: It is with great joy that I introduce my friend Brad Cooper to the Resurgence. Brad is the Family Ministries Pastor at NewSpring Church and leads (in my opinion) the healthiest student ministry in the USA. I have seen first-hand his leadership gift, his phenomenal team, and the focused dedication with which they are reaching thousands of young people with the gospel. I love what Jesus is doing through our friends at NewSpring and am deeply grateful for the impact they are having on student ministry in the American Church.
Our world has never moved faster. Our lives (and those of students) are full of 24-hour news coverage, constant social media updates, and neck-breaking technological advances. Innovation and change seem to be the air we breathe. How in the world is a student ministry supposed to keep up?
The good news is you don’t have to! Here are five essential things I believe every student ministry can and should offer if they are going to be successful:
1. Support and vision from the senior pastor
If you are going to have a thriving student ministry, it will be because you’re leading volunteers and students with the same heart and words that are emphasized in every major platform of your church. I cannot emphasize this point enough.
No matter the demographic, the gospel is the universal language of life, hope, and healing.
The best-case scenario for a ministry that ignores this point is a flash-in-the-pan, momentary success that ends up splitting a church up because there were two visions. Student ministers who embrace their leadership’s heart for people will avoid frustrations and pave the way for a healthy church long after their season of leadership is over.
2. Teaching the Bible
Every human being on planet earth needs the gospel. Humanity is universally broken, and therefore everyone needs the good news of Jesus Christ. No matter the demographic, the gospel is the universal language of life, hope, and healing.
Preach it. Say no to other activities in order to say yes to teaching the Bible. Otherwise, we are not being the church, but rather some kind of new version of the YMCA or Boys & Girls Club. Every student in our ministry needs the life-altering words of the Bible.
Truths may be preached from the platform, but they will be learned and applied inside of the context of relationships.
3. Evaluation and follow-up
Once your vision is clarified and the wins are known, then evaluation and follow-up are the next steps. This is where momentum really starts to get built. Challenge. Change. Progress.
Find a way to weekly celebrate the people who are doing a great job in your ministry area. Don’t just talk about how they are doing a great job, but talk to them about how they are doing a great job. What you celebrate is what others will replicate, so work on the art of celebration.
Likewise, you must point out the opportunities for improvement, and you must talk to the individuals who are responsible for improving (this is a true test of love). Commit to this discipline weekly with your team leaders. It will change your culture.
4. Relationships with students
Relationships are the glue of every ministry. They are what take a ministry from a once-a-week gathering to a daily lifestyle. Truths may be preached from the platform, but they will be learned and applied inside of the context of relationships. We must value them. Cultivate and celebrate leaders who make this a priority.
What you celebrate is what others will replicate, so work on the art of celebration.
Remember, what you celebrate is what they will replicate, so make a big deal about relationships in your ministry. Leader, you must model this, not simply say it.
5. Grit: willingness to work hard
Many student ministries fail because of good old-fashioned laziness. If you’re the youth guy who plays video games all night, sleeps in every morning, and is constantly the last one to staff meetings… wake up! Heaven is real, and so is hell.
Jesus’ parable of the talents is a great parable for youth workers. God might bless you with something more if you invest what’s in your hand now and stop burying it in the backyard. Don’t whine because someone else has more. Realize that there is no one with a greater voice and opportunity to change the future of the church than you and the folks you are pouring your life into.