Yes, over a month later, Part Two of our GCSM series continues. Sorry for the delay!
3. A Gospel Centered Student Ministry equips saints to do the work of the ministry. It’s really easy in Student Ministry for the majority of the “ministry” to happen by the Youth Pastor. You know what I’m talking about right? The Youth Pastor does all the work, leads all the bible studies, teaches all the lessons, goes to all the hospital visits, attends all the football games, etc.. Let’s be honest, those are things that you should be doing as a Youth Pastor, but it can’t be done by you alone. Learn to decentralize the ministry and put it into the hands of your leadership. It’s a beautiful thing when you (the Youth Pastor) aren’t the first one called to the emergency room when Johnny breaks his arm, but instead Johnny’s small group leader (or Sunday School Teacher) is the first one called. That means that there also needs be a slight shift in your approach. If you’re going to allow leaders to lead in your ministry, that means that you have to EQUIP them! Jesus did it, so should we.
4. A Gospel Centered Student Ministry recognizes that it’s not about a building a crowd, but about making disciples. Now before all of you who are Anti-Big Student Ministries go praising Jesus, I think it should be noted that the size of your crowd is not the problem, it’s the intentionality you have in moving them from the crowd into discipleship. This happened to me when I was at a church running 35 students, and it happens to me at a church running a few hundred. We all get caught up in the game of building a crowd. To keep from falling into the numbers trap, make sure that you’re counting the right numbers. We have a philosophy here in our Student Ministry and in our church, and it’s “As we grow larger, we want to grow smaller.” We want every student to be known and nurtured in gospel community. I love to see crowds of students showing up at our events, because I love to see the reach our students are having in their circles of influence, but it can’t stop there! They must be on-ramps into the discipleship process of your church.
You know what I long for in our ministry? That twenty years from now, the seeds of the gospel that were planted, watered, and nurtured would, by the grace of God, become oaks of righteousness.