Yesterday another Student Pastor that I follow asked a question on twitter that really captivated me. He asked, "How do we as Youth/Student Pastors determine the success of a Youth/Student ministry?"
Wow! Great question.
What is a WIN for us that work with students?
So many things came to mind about what defines success for student ministry. However, I don't think the true success of student ministry can fully be measured TODAY. Wait a minute, I understand that there are things that we MUST look at like numbers, student facilities, involvement, cool praise bands, students receiving the Holy Ghost, students baptized in Jesus Name, community involvement, just to name a few. All these are great and vital today. We can't be satisfied with complacency. We have to move forward. The task demands it.
But what I can't get off my mind is, "What good is all that if in 40 years these students that I am working with are not still in the church?"
The true win is students that become fully functional members in the body of Jesus Christ. The true win will be when you see students that grew up to raise their families in the church. You say, "I don't think we have control over that." However, we can put things in students that will help them stand the test of time.
We have to change our perspective from 4 to 40! From "What can I do to impact students for the 4 years they are in High School?" to, "What can I put inside students that will last 40 years?"
I tell the students at revolution that I am not preaching to them at age 16 with a girlfriend that you have been going with for two months. I am preaching to the 22 year old college student that is making decisions far away from your parents and loved ones. I am preaching to the 40 year old Dad with three kids a wife and a dog. Is that adult still serving God.
What are we putting in students?
Are we teaching things that are doctrinally sound and in alignment with our Senior Pastor and church?
Is our preaching/teaching a well balanced? this book is great for that.
Are we teaching students rebellion by our actions?
Am I teaching students how to be a Godly husband/wife through my example?
Am I opening opportunities for students to be involved in leadership in student ministry and/or other parts of the larger church?
"God, help us, by your Spirit, to instill in the hearts of students something that will cause them to be in your kingdom all the days of their lives."
Help us to have a 40 year student ministry.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts about what success looks in student ministry.