Student Ministry is the HARDEST Ministry in the Church

This article series presents Pastor Erik's Twitter posts as articles, making them accessible for everyone to read, regardless of their access to Twitter. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread HERE

Student ministry is the HARDEST ministry in the church.


- age/maturity gap (6th-12th grade)
- availability (sports, dance, etc.)
- cultural acceptance

The church with an effective student ministry will reach (and keep) families. 

5 things you must get right:

1. Resource and Equip Parents.
Parents need/want help. They feel the pressure of trying to keep their kids from falling away. Student pastors and leaders can equip parents for what their teens are dealing with each day. Keep them informed. Provide them tools.

2. Develop a Ministry Team

Thriving student ministries have good adult leaders involved.
Students are transitioning from kids to adults. Give them good adult mentors for relationships. Young adults and college students are great. But teachable older people can do this too.

These leaders can be small group teachers for different age groups. They can also intentional about building relationships. The goal of adult leaders isn’t just to keep kids in line (though there’s a place for that). It’s too build trust with them so we can disciple them.

3. Teach Solid Theology

Play games. Have fun activity nights. Do it all. But above all else, teach them biblical theology. Don’t skimp or water it down because they are teens. You can target the content to match the maturity range, but don’t avoid the meat.

These kids take hard subjects in school. Students in your church are taking:
- biology
- geometry
- calculus
- trigonometry
- literature
They are capable of learning the Bible and grasping theology. But we must teach it.

4. Address cultural issues they are facing

Apologetics needs to be a foundational part of the discipleship plan for students. You must address LGBTQ issues. Gender and sexuality are massive topics that must be covered biblically. It’s the issue of their lifetimes.

Students today are bombarded with cultural issues. Whether it is at school, social media, music, movies, or TV, they encounter it every day. Make sure you’re teaching them how to think about these things. Make it normal to hear biblical teaching on these topics.

5. Connect them to one another.

They need community. Living out their faith in this culture is challenging. Provide them friends who hold the same values and are pursuing faithfulness to Christ. Every student needs a Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego beside them.

RECAP: Build a thriving student ministry
1. Resource and Equip Parents
2. Develop a Ministry Team
3. Teach Solid Theology
4. Address cultural issues they are facing
5. Connect them to one another

Looking for a good conference for your students? Check out the Engaging Truth Conference this fall at Ridgecrest, NC. 

Erik is the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, a non-profit organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper.




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