One of the most effective ways to connecting with students in your youth ministry is to engage them in a personal way. Should you do the opposite, you can kiss your ministry goodbye within 12 months.
During His 3-year ministry, Jesus’ most impactful stories are those where He personally interacted with an individual. Think of the woman at the well. Zacchaeus in the tree. Peter in the boat. The thief on the cross. Each of these individuals had a personal encounter with Jesus, which literally changed the direction of their lives.
If you’re a Student Pastor, one of the most effective ways to destroy your student ministry is to think too big. I know that sounds contradictory to everything you’ve likely ever thought about your student ministry, but thinking too big can ironically create limitations to building your ministry.
Here’s what I mean:
When your main concern is the preparation and execution of the sermon or message you will deliver to your large group of students, you may be neglecting opportunities that may actually produce more fruit.
Regardless of what is written in your job description, you are responsible for nurturing many different types of people.
Most student pastors find that their favorite part of their job is to preach. However, I have some discouraging news for you:
If you choose to focus all of your efforts on your preaching, YOU WILL FAIL.
The truth is—you cannot be effective as a student pastor if you limit your impact to just students. You’re not a Senior Pastor yet, so you don’t yet have the luxuries a Senior Pastor may have who is primarily responsible for preaching, vision casting and leading an executive team. As a Student Pastor, you may need to think broader rather than bigger.
Your overall main “student” category can be broken down into subcategories:
- Large group
- Small groups
- Student leaders
In addition, your “student” ministry also non-student subcategories crucial to building your overall ministry, such as:
- Adult leaders & volunteers
- Parents of students
- Staff members
- School administrators
Each subcategory audience is vital to your ministry. There are some audiences in which you should invest more time, but you should not invest all of your time in any one of your audiences.
In follow up posts, I will dive into each subcategory to show steps on exactly how to invest in each audience. But the bottom line I want to challenge you with today boils down to one word: DIVERSIFY. Your financial advisor would give you the same advice for all of your other investments, and how you invest your time is no different.
Don’t derail your entire ministry by thinking too big and only focusing on your large group. Make sure that you’re not investing all your time with just one audience. Be intentional with carving time into your schedule to invest in individuals, student leaders, adult leaders, parents, administrators, and of course, your large group.
Question: What is the most important part of your ministry? Share your response in the comment section below.