Thursday, September 10, 2015

LEGACY Has Left The Building

Last night we closed our doors and sent all of our students to other student ministries...

Yes - you heard me! Yes - we told students last week we'd be sending them elsewhere this week and we did. And yes, the questions have come in: What? Why? Don't we pay our own student pastor to have ministries for our students? What if they teach something students don't believe? What if they like another ministry better? Yadda, yadda, yadda....
This idea actually came up last summer and our leadership students loved it! So why have a night like this? I can think of several reasons:

- Students need to see the greater body of Christ in action! It's easy to get caught up in our own "student ministry world" and lose sight that there are other ministries that are not only doing a great job but, like iron sharpens iron, we can learn from and collaborate with. I've worked hard since arriving in Castle Rock to see ministries encourage each other and work together. These ministries care for students and have the Gospel down!

- Students can forget what it is like to be the "visitor." It's easy to get comfortable week after week with the same friends - even ones you bring. But whenever you come into a new place, a new environment, a different structure, it can be awkward and a bit scary. But, since we believe awkward is awesome, I want to put my students in "awkward" situations!  I want students to know how it feels to be the visitor because it can make them more sensitive to students who visit our ministry. Last night, I even invited 2 new students to come with me and be the visitor with me at CRBC and it was AWESOME!~

- It can help students take ownership. Want students more involved in your student ministry? Send 'em elsewhere and have them come back with ideas to make yours better. They can, they do and it works!

- It will help them verbalize their faith. The greatest way to grow in your faith is to share your faith. And yes, this  happens best with students among their peers. As they attended student ministries last night, numerous ones told me they were able to share what they believe  about Jesus with other students - during lesson discussion as well as while just hanging. Gospel conversations - students with students - Awesome!

- It creates faith-building teaching opportunities. What if they attend another ministry where they heard false teaching? Great! I'm not sending them elsewhere every week. The weeks they are in our ministry I guarantee they get Bible truth and that will help them discern truth from error. And even if this happens, you do what every parent does when their son or daughter asks a question. You discuss it together and it provides a teachable moment. Doing this helps students take ownership of their own faith which is a must, in my mind, before they leave high school. Side-note: The ministries I sent them to last night - I would trust those guys with my life!

- Students usually come back with a greater appreciation of their own student ministry. I heard this from most all of the students after last night. Now - our students know I have no desire for our ministry to become any type of "club", but I do want them to have a place in the body of Christ where they feel safe, loved and a sense of belonging, because, sadly, for some, student ministry may be the only place where they feel that.

So to wrap up, I don't feel threatened a bit by sending my students to visit some of the other great ministries in our town - aren't we all on the same team? As a called minister of God, I want to give my students the best and I work hard to do so. And if our ministries aren't the best (and you have to define best) - then shame on us, let's get them there! But if for whatever reason, a student (and/or their family) finds a better fit where they can worship, love & serve Jesus - I am totally cool with that!
Ok, I said a lot. And for now, I still have a job :)

No comments:

Post a Comment