Student ministry peeps,
I wanted to share with you an idea with that has really been burning in my heart the past few months. It all stems from a phrase I heard John Siebling say at the ARC All Access Conference last year. He said that as pastors it is essential for us to “pastor our city.” He talked about how he has a responsibility to the city God has called him to. Just because someone hasn’t walked through the doors of his church yet, doesn’t mean he has no responsibility to them as a pastor. This challenged me to the core and now it’s a big strategy of our student ministry.
Now pastoring a city as a student pastor may seem a little overwhelming right away, but here’s where I think we should all start to direct our time and resources a little more. And even if you’re not involved in student ministry, translate this to local organizations of business that have a big reach into your community.
Your Local Schools.
You ever thought about this?
“Man, if only there was a place where a thousand students are at one time. A place they have to be at everyday. A place they’re looking for some encouragement and someone who believes in them. A place where they all hangout with their friends who don’t go to church. Now at that place there’s some opportunity. If only something like that existed…..oh wait…..It does!”
The local middle and high schools in your area are a huge chance to reach out to students and extend your influence as a pastor. We have focused a lot of our planning for 2016 in establishing a presence on 2-3 of the school campuses in our area. I recently saw a post from Doug Fields that said, “Our willingness to go to them is a reflection of our love for them.”
Here are 3 ways I believe you can do that in your local school:
- Earn the Trust of the Faculty. – I was talking to Sam McDowell, a student pastor friend of mine, and he pointed this truth out to me. As leaders, we may have bypassed our biggest resource in reaching students and that’s earning the trust of the faculty. Teachers poor a lot of themselves out for students too and it’s really important that we as pastors don’t simply “use” them to get to the students. Minster to them first and you’ll see how your influence expands in a huge way because they become your greatest ally. Follow the systems they have in place to get involved, sit down with the principal to introduce yourself and through it all be respectful. This is the first and most important step.
- “What is the greatest need you have?” – When you schedule meetings with faculty or staff of the school, keep this question running through your mind and present it to them. “As a school, what is the greatest need you have? Ok awesome, here is how we can help you with!” Ask them how you can serve them before asking them for anything. Usually, it takes a little time to show them your serious about serving them. Show them through your language and action you are.
- Go as Far as you can and Do as much as you can. – As you put this in the forefront of your ministry plan, brainstorm all the different ways you can serve your particular school. I would definitely recommend starting with 1 maybe 2 schools and then going from there as you feel comfortable with your method. Be creative. The sky’s the limit. Here’s a few things we do: Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts a couple times a semester, bringing Gatorades/Protein Bars to different sports team practices, getting involved myself in their mentoring system they have at the school. The sky is literally the limit! So start painting out what you sky is going to look like.
Let this verse provide you some vision and encouragement.
Acts 20:28 ESV
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,[a] which he obtained with his own blood.
Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep following Jesus.