I get the question “How do I create a gospel centered student ministry?” quite often. This past week, I had the privilege of attempting to answer that question during a workshop out in Nashville. It forced me to really begin to think through some of the things that distinguish a Student Ministry that is centered on the gospel, and some things that we do intentionally to guard against mission drift. I’ll be posting these over the next few posts. So, let’s get started with two quick principles.
- A Gospel Centered Student Ministry has leadership that leads out of the overflow of their hearts. My prayer for all student ministry leaders is that they would be trees. Yep, that’s it…trees. I long to see a generation of Student Pastors who reflect the Psalmists great truth in Psalm 1, and that we would allow the roots of our hearts to go deep in the streams of the gospel. How deep are our roots in the gospel? What is the fruit that we are bearing? I heard a friend once say that the fruit of an apple tree isn’t an apple, but it’s another apple tree. A Gospel Centered Student Ministry has a leader whose roots go deep in the gospel and produces fruit in season and out of season, whose leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1)
- A Gospel Centered Student Ministry recognizes that students are the mission, not pawns in building our personal kingdoms. You can visit a previous post I wrote on this topic here. We all fall into ministry idolatry. You know what I mean right? Well, maybe you don’t, but I’m the first to confess that often times ministry can become more about me, my fame, my success, my “kingdom.” My hearts inclination is naturally bent towards self exaltation, but I need the gospel to redirect my heart over and over again. God’s glory is the goal, students are the mission. My kingdom must crumble. His endures. A Gospel Centered Student Ministry recognizes this great truth!