Archive for the 'Why Student Ministries' Category

Why Student Ministries (Part 4)

This will be the last post in the series “Why Student Ministries.” We’ve been looking at the question, “Why does student ministries exist?” You can find the rest of the posts here.

The fourth answer to the question “Why Student Ministries?” is: Student Ministries is the Church’s means of helping parents shepherd the hearts of their children. One of the foundational values that our Student Ministries department holds to is that we exist to help parents shepherd the hearts of their children. High School and Junior High students live under the direct authority and shepherding care of their parents. Due to this truth, one of the church’s primary means of ministry to parents is to help them shepherd the hearts of their children. This task is primarily accomplished through Student Ministries in many churches today. In order for Student Ministries to be effective, it must be intentionally focused on ministering to parents.

September 06 2007 | Why Student Ministries | Comments Off on Why Student Ministries (Part 4)

Why Student Ministries (Part 3)

The first two posts in the series “Why Student Ministries” can be found here and here. In this series we are looking at several of the reasons why Student Ministries exist and why it is vital for young people to be plugged into student Ministries.

The third answer to the question, “Why Student Ministries” is: Student Ministries is the Church’s means of connecting High School and Junior High students directly to a Pastor.

In 1 Peter 5:1-2 Peter writes, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight…” In Paul’s list of gifts to the church in Ephesians 4:11 he includes the office of Pastors as a specific gift that God has given to the church for building itself up. The role of the Pastor is to shepherd the hearts of the flock and to equip them for the work of ministry. He does this through preaching, counseling, administrating, etc. but his ultimate goal is to shepherd the hearts of his flock to the glory of God.

Student Ministries exists as a conduit to connect High School and Junior High students directly to a shepherd who can oversee and care for their souls. In practical terms, it does almost no good to have a Student Ministries pastor if the young people in a church are not connected to him in some way. Student Ministries serves as the primary means of connecting students to their shepherd at their local church.

August 27 2007 | Why Student Ministries | Comments Off on Why Student Ministries (Part 3)

Why Student Ministries (Part 2)

This is part two in the series “Why Student Ministries.” In this series I’m looking at the reasons that student ministries exists. As I said in my last post on this topic, the principles that I am laying down are specific to the congregation where I serve but I hope that they are broad enough to be of use in other contexts.

The second reason for Student Ministries is because: Student Ministries is the Church’s means of providing an environment for students to practice the “One Anothers” outlined in Scripture.
As I continue to study and think about this concept, I become increasingly convinced of its veracity.
There is a tremendous temptation bound up in our salvation. Salvation is not a corporate happening, it occurs on the level of the individual. In other words, God saves individual people and incorporates them into his body (the Church). The temptation in this is that now that I have been saved individually by God, I now believe that I will somehow become sanctified individually as well. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Paul Tripp has rightly said that the Christian life is a community project. Believers need a community in order to refine one another (Matthew 18:15), in order to love one another (John 13:34) and in order to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10). These “One Another” commandments cannot be practiced outside of a community. The rugged individualism that so characteristically defines the American church is completely misplaced when it comes to sanctification, because sanctification is a community project. I desperately need a community to help me become sanctified. In the same way, teenagers desperately need a community in order to help them become sanctified. This then is the role of Student Ministries, to provide an environment where students can live in community and be sanctified. Ultimately this is the job of the entire church, across all generational lines. Student Ministries simply provides a specific environment for a specific age group to exist in community and to refine one another.
Student Ministries is the Church’s means of providing an environment for students to practice the “One Anothers” outlined in Scripture.

August 21 2007 | Why Student Ministries | Comments Off on Why Student Ministries (Part 2)

Why Student Ministries (Part 1)

One of the most important questions that any ministry can ask is “Why?” Why do we do what we do? I have been wrestling with this question for the past couple of months when it comes to the topic of Student Ministries. In light of church history, Student Ministries is an extremely recent development, so why is this ministry here? Is the church simply following along with a cultural trend? Or has the church adopted a para-church ministry mindset when it comes to young people? Is Student Ministries just another program that my child can be involved in, like Soccer or Boy Scouts? Over the next couple of weeks I’d like to address these questions with a response to the question, “Why?” These responses are specific to my local context at Emmanuel Baptist, but I believe that the principles are broad enough to have a wide reaching impact. One further clarification is that these reasons really only apply to churches that have Student Ministry departments in place. This is not a polemic in favor of the establishment of Student Ministries, rather it is a description of the reason Student Ministries exist as well as an encouragement to parents and students to get involved in this exciting ministry.

The first reason why Student Ministries exists is because: Student Ministries is the God-Ordained means of ministering to young people in the context of the local church. In other words, Student Ministries is the local church’s way of accomplishing member care for its Jr. High and High School students.

The local church has been charged with the task of “equipping the saints for the work of ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12). This task includes teaching a biblical theology and biblical worldview. It includes counseling the sheep through the various trials that arise in life. It includes reproving and rebuking the flock when they fall into sin and it includes encouraging and tending the flock. For many churches, Student Ministries exists as the church’s means of accomplishing this task for Jr. High and High School students. The natural corollary to this truth is that students who are not involved in Student Ministries are outside of this realm of care. They may receive this care from their parents, or they may receive this care from some other source but they do not receive it from the local church, the only body on earth which God has ordained and promised to build (Matthew 16:18).The point is that Student Ministries exists to provide member care for Junior High and High School students.

In a practical way, the local church relies on the Student Ministries department to provide member care for our Junior High and High School students. When a student is not involved in Student Ministries, the church is left blind as to that student’s spiritual condition.

August 05 2007 | Why Student Ministries | Comments Off on Why Student Ministries (Part 1)