Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rethinking Student Ministry

      I posted this blog a few years ago but wanted to post it again to see if the reaction is any different.  One of my professors from seminary wrote a blog post in which he said, "This generation wants meat. They are tired of silly events that have a little Scripture thrown in, or events where junk food is served up large and the Bible doesn't make the menu". I really feel like he has a point. My question to you is, do you agree with this statement? What are you looking for when you come to church on Sunday morning or Wednesday nights? Are you looking to just come and hang out or do you really want to be challenged?     
       In that same blog post Dr. Reid goes on to say, "There is a younger generation of believers who are tired of "do the minimum" Christianity. They want it straight, they want it real, and they want it now. If you teach the Bible, and if the teens you teach sense you genuiely love them and love Jesus, you can get right in their grills. In fact, you must. If however they perceive you as a smart aleck, or you stereotype them to the extreme, you will lose them. And you will never have a chance with unchurched  young adults". I have a heart and a passion for students. I want to see them come to a complete understanding of who Jesus is and what He did for them. 
      I am looking for feedback here. Feedback from students and parents. If you took the time to read this, comment on it and let me know what you think. If you think I am crazy, tell me. If you think that I am on to something here and are willing to come along side of me as we look to reach the students of Sumter, tell me! I want to hear from you!
   That same professor just wrote a new book called "As You Go: Creating a Missional Culture of Gospel-Centered Students". I recently bought the book and will be blogging my thoughts on it as I read it. I hope that it will sharpen me as a student pastor as I seek to teach students how to live a life that is centered on the gospel.


  1. I agree that our students want and need to be challenge. I tell our students that they need to fight against the cultural stereotypes that they are a lazy, entitled, instant gratification generation. We have placed such low expectations on our students that the reason they are failing to grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally is not because our expectations are too high but because they are too low. At the same time we need to not only minister to the students but also to the parents in helping to equip them better to disciple their students at home. It has been my experience that in most cases, not all, there is a direct correlation between students who leave the church after high school and their parents involvement in their spiritual development.One book I read and loved in "ReThink" by Steve Wright, it gives an amazing perspective on what is wrong and right in your ministry.

  2. I recently had a college sophomore ask me my opinion on 2 books she was considering reading... I had read these books just a couple of years ago. I was blown away and excited that these were even on her radar! There seems to be a hunger and thirst for the WORD of GOD and a desire for discipleship/mentorship like I have never seen. I believe when the WORD is lifted high above all(fellowship, games, music) the power of the WORD splashes on everything else! There is a movement in the body of Christ and it seems to be yearning for the deeper things of GOD...Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You...Behold I long for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness(excerpts from Psalm 119). Marshall, it would be mine and Chad's honor to come along side you with the mission/desire/yearning to disciple/mentor students in His holy word!

  3. I know I'm a little late Marshall. But this post drove it home for me, it's what I've been trying to scream out. I feel like the little kid from the at&t commercial, "I want more." Even if I feel like my relationship with Christ is solid, I want it to explode, I want to be challenged in order to strengthen my relationship. I want the rock I hold fast to in the rials to be a boulder, a mountain. Solid. That's what I want more than anything, I want everything I want it all. I want to be able to evangelize for Christ by being challenged, by being able to stand up for my own faith, for my individuality found in Christ. Challenge me, people!