issue29 frontlines

Issue #29: Directing Focus and Resources to the Frontlines of the Battle

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

I have never been a student pastor. This isn’t because I don’t love student ministry. I do. Student ministry matters big time. In fact, I believe student pastors have the most difficult job in the church right now. They must please the Senior Pastor and other leaders in the church. They work with parents who don’t always make their jobs easy. And they minister to students that range from 6th grade to 12th grade, a massive contrast.

But I believe the greatest reason student ministry is the most difficult job in the church is because of the cultural battle that rages against students. That is the subject of this week’s newsletter.

Front Lines

The culture works overtime to indoctrinate young boys and girls. Everywhere you turn there is a full-scale effort to unify the worldview of young people toward unbiblical principles and ethics. Worldview is delivered most effectively through mediums such as music, tv, movies, and celebrity culture. Schools also labor to normalize LGBTQ sexual and gender ethics.

At every turn, young people are taught a worldview that is antithetical to biblical beliefs. This is the situation on the ground that student pastors and leaders face. It is the frontline of the fight for the faith. It is a hard job.

This is why churches, particularly senior pastors, must support and encourage student pastors and students within their churches to engage in these battles. We must disciple students with urgency.

1 Actionable Tip

Invest heavily in discipling students in your church and equipping families to withstand the onslaught of cultural ideology being preached to them.

Student leaders need to be equipped and trained with the resources to engage in these battles. They need to be encouraged by senior leadership to help parents and students recognize the fight. They need to be sent to conferences and given the tools needed for this work.

Churches must also preach about these things to the whole congregation. Parents of students need to recognize what their students are facing. If we fail to engage students on the cultural issues of our day, we will lose the next generation.

Opportunities for Next Steps

1. Watch for a special announcement coming soon. We have something special planned for students in 2024 from Knowing Jesus Ministries. Look for the announcement very soon and share the news with student ministry leaders you know.

2. Engaging Truth Conference at Ridgecrest. Join us in the mountains of North Carolina on October 13-15 for our national student conference. We’ll gather with Trevin Wax, Matt Smethurst, Dean Inserra, Neil Shenvi, Abigail Dodds, Katie McCoy, Journey Worship Co. and many more. Register or learn more here.

3. Student Minister Leadership Lab. We are excited about pouring into student ministry leaders with a practical workshop style event. Join us in Nashville August 3-4th for coaching and practical help for leading an effective student ministry. Register here.