Christmas and The Campus Missionaryfor: Students

Tis’ the season! The time of year that many of us look forward to! It’s a season of love, being with family, and giving to others! Yet for some it isn’t as jolly. Some people don’t have a family that loves them or a family to go home to on Christmas day. Some might not have enough money to provide their children or loved ones with gifts. Some have lost family members and have somber holidays. These are all reasons why Christmas should also be a season of sacrifice. A lot of us are excited to get new clothes, cash, or maybe the new iPhone! While others of us just want money to pay for school. But there are people out there who have nothing to look forward to but an empty Christmas tree, perhaps not able to provide any gifts for their loved ones. It happens every year, and it’s really sad, but I want to encourage you all as Campus Missionaries to do something sacrificial this year around the holidays! One thing my church does is a program known as “Christmas at Bethel”, where we invite any and all troubled families to a Christmas celebration! Every year families who may struggling attend and we just love on them. All of the kids get to pick a toy; there are games, inflatables, cotton candy machines, hot dogs, professional comedians, and much more!

I am not saying you have to organize your own “Christmas at Bethel” in your area, but it is a good thing to help give you some ideas! This year I feel that, as Campus Missionaries, we should be a living sacrifice in some way. Whether it be something you and your bible club does, or something you and your family does, or maybe something you do by yourself. Let’s give to those who aren’t as fortunate as us. Some ideas would be to give some of your brand new clothes away to people who never get new clothes, or donate your Christmas money to a shelter, or a charity, or even Speed the Light. Maybe you could hang out with some of the students in your school who don’t get to have the ideal Christmas—take them out to the movies or out to dinner. Instead of spending all of your Christmas money on things you really want, set a little bit of it aside and buy gifts for those who didn’t get any. Do everything out of love, and tell people of God’s love! Through all of this, glorify Him, not yourself. Pray about it; see what God wants you to do. Maybe He wants you to do something you never even imagined yourself being able to do. After you have done something, let us know what you did! Send us a report on how it went and if you got to share the Gospel with someone!

Merry Christmas, Campus Missionaries!

Tis’ the season! The time of year that many of us look forward to! It’s a season of love, being with family, and giving to others! Yet for some it isn’t as jolly. Some people don’t have a family that loves them or a family to go home to on Christmas day. Some might not have enough money...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Nominate the Campus Missionary of the Yearfor: Youth Leaders

Campus-Missionary-enews-logo

Every year we honor one student who has been outstanding in their commitment as a missionary to their school campus. A Campus Missionary commits to live a life of faith in school, love their fellow students and school community, and lead their friends to Jesus and to the church. A Campus Missionary lives out loud, loves on purpose, and leads to eternity.

In the past, we have selected the Campus Missionary of the Year based upon the CM reports sent through the national Youth Alive reporting system. However, we recognize that many CMs do not use the national reporting system, and that local youth pastors and leaders are in a better position to identify the outstanding students who have been exemplary in mission on the school campus. As a result, this year we are asking for youth pastors and youth leaders to nominate a student (or students) from their group who have been outstanding Campus Missionaries. From those nominations, we will select the Campus Missionary of the Year.

To nominate a student for Campus Missionary of the Year, please read the following:

  • Nominations should be in the form of a recommendation letter.
  • Nominations should provide example of the student’s efforts in some or all of the following:
    • Sharing the Gospel at school
    • Leading friends to Jesus
    • Leading/Participating in an outreach at school
    • Leading a Bible Club/Helping to lead a Bible Club
    • Bringing friends from school to church/youth ministry/events
    • Living as an example for Christ on the Campus
    • Serving their school in the name of Jesus
  • The nomination must be sent by email to Lee@reachtheschool.com, either in the body of the email or as a scanned attachment on church letterhead.
  • Nominations must come from a Youth Pastor, Youth Leader in charge, or Lead Pastor of the church the student attends.

The Campus Missionary of the Year will be highlighted in the Fall issue of the Network Connexions magazine, will be honored at the Advance Back-to-School Retreat, and will receive free tuition to either Youth Advance, Winter Retreat, or Youth Convention. All nominations must be received no later than June 26, 2014 at 12pm.

Every year we honor one student who has been outstanding in their commitment as a missionary to their school campus. A Campus Missionary commits to live a life of faith in school, love their fellow students and school community, and lead their friends to Jesus and to the church. A Campus Missionary lives out loud, loves on...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Anyone Can Be A Campus Missionaryfor: Students

Sierra is a great Campus Missionary and co-leader of her Bible Club near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She first came to church after being invited to See You At The Pole and a Bible Club meeting at her school. Because of the impact of other Campus Missionaries, Sierra was able to know Christ and become a great Campus Missionary herself. Here’s what she says about being a Campus Missionary:

Anyone can be a Campus Missionary. John 14:1 says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…”

The message of this verse is phenomenal. Jesus turned water into wine, healed the blind, and raised the dead to life. But this verse tells us we can do more than that. We can use this same power to glorify God.

I encourage any student reading this article to become a Campus Missionary. It’s a decision that will change your life forever. Don’t over think it. Everyone on Earth isn’t called to be a youth pastor, senior pastor, or even the president of his or her Campus Club. But, everyone is called to lead people to Christ.

I love what Sierra ends with, “everyone is called to lead people to Christ.” Paul said, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” What are some of the ways you can make an appeal for God in your school?

Sierra is a great Campus Missionary and co-leader of her Bible Club near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She first came to church after being invited to See You At The Pole and a Bible Club meeting at her school. Because of the impact of other Campus Missionaries, Sierra was able to know Christ and become a great Campus Missionary...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 2 )

From One Campus Missionary to Anotherfor: Students

OK, so who’s having tons of fun spreading God’s word?  I know I am!  And I guess I should ask who’s having some trouble spreading God’s word?  Is it fear—you don’t think people will accept you and your beliefs—or do you just not know what to say, etc.? I know exactly what this feels like so I’m gonna give ya a little advice on how I coped with this!

First of all, there is no need to fear because:

  1. Jesus is with you every step of the way.
  2. It’s a good way to make friends with someone you don’t know.
  3. Being rejected is not your fault, you did everything right they just don’t feel it’s right for them.
  4. Your friends won’t think anything less of you just because you are expressing what your beliefs are. They’re your friends and they were before you expressed your beliefs!

Not knowing what to say…I’ll start with first approaching someone because that is sometimes difficult.  Well with any person just start out with an everyday conversation. Sometimes it can lead to a spot where a friend is having a tough time, and you can say something like, “Well, Jesus has always helped me when I’m down, He’ll help you too.” That was how my very first campus missionary conversation started out!  Maybe that doesn’t happen so you have to bring up God in a different way, such as asking that person what they think about Christianity or telling them a story about what God did for you this week. Just have fun with it!

Now if you don’t know an answer to a question or how to answer to a remark, don’t worry. Lots of people don’t know every answer to every question.  Just tell that person you’ll have to find out–they won’t mind.  Don’t forget that you can always ask your pastor if you need any answers or help!  Remember, God won’t give you anything he knows you can’t handle!  Well, I hope that this advice will help you guys and that you will have great stories to tell!  I’ll be praying for you fellow Campus Missionaries!!

OK, so who’s having tons of fun spreading God’s word?  I know I am!  And I guess I should ask who’s having some trouble spreading God’s word?  Is it fear—you don’t think people will accept you and your beliefs—or do you just not know what to say, etc.? I know exactly what this feels like so I’m...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 5 )

Alone On Your Campus?for: Students

Have you ever felt alone as a Campus Missionary in your school? Would it surprise you to find out the Apostle Paul felt lonely from time to time, as well? Paul was a social person, even though he wasn’t married. He always stayed with people when he went from town to town, and he always took others with him on the journey of spreading the gospel. In fact, it seems as though he had difficulties being alone. He talks about this in 2 Timothy 4:9-18. In fact, he struggled with the fact that his earthly companions abandoned him in a time of need. He writes, “The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear” (vss. 16–17 NLT-SE).

Notice that Paul did not allow his loneliness to become an excuse for why he couldn’t share the gospel. On the contrary, Paul writes that he relied on the Lord, who stood with him and gave him strength. Why? So that Paul could continue to preach the gospel. Today you may be feeling all alone. You may even feel like you’ve been abandoned in a trial or difficulty. But God is with you! Rely on Him, and continue to share the gospel with those who haven’t heard it. Keep in mind that those who sit near you in class are probably even more lonely than you are. They are just waiting for someone to be their friend. That friend is you.

Have you ever felt alone as a Campus Missionary in your school? Would it surprise you to find out the Apostle Paul felt lonely from time to time, as well? Paul was a social person, even though he wasn’t married. He always stayed with people when he went from town to town, and he always took others...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Enters the Missionaryfor: Students

It was an incredible weekend, one that our group would never forget. The students were saying their goodbyes and the leaders were shaking hands and swapping stories.  ADVANCE was over. But before we left the conference center, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “I feel like God wants me to start a Campus Club at my high school” Kristen said, “How do I do it?”

Kristen was going into 8th grade and was a fairly new Christian. This was her first year at Youth Advance.

We began to pray and strategize how she could reach her campus. One step at a time Kristen began the process of launching a brand new Campus Ministry at her middle school.

She met with her principal. She found a teacher who would be willing to sponsor the club, and then she gathered together a few of her Christian friends who wanted to make a difference on their campus.

Within a month, twenty-five students were gathering in the cafeteria to worship, share their testimonies and pray together after school. A movement had begun in her middle school and students were coming to Christ. Kristen made a decision, and in that moment she became a missionary. She still is one today.

Kristen is now a junior, and leads a campus ministry at our local high school. Last year, more than sixty students gathered to pray around her flag at See-You-At-The-Pole. This year, she’s already met with a team of students over the summer and they’re fired up to re-launch their club and share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ on their Campus.

What is God asking you to do on your campus? Connect with your youth leader and start planning today.

It was an incredible weekend, one that our group would never forget. The students were saying their goodbyes and the leaders were shaking hands and swapping stories.  ADVANCE was over. But before we left the conference center, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “I feel like God wants me to start a Campus Club at my...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Getting Started in Campus Missionsfor: Youth Leaders

One of the key questions most Youth Pastors will ask when approaching the campus is, “Where do I start?” Should I personally go to the campus? Should we start a Bible Club? Should we bring in an assembly program like The Seven Project? The answer is actually much closer to home. Before launching all out into the campus, every youth pastor would be wise to recruit students from within their own youth ministry as Campus Missionaries. A Campus Missionary is simply “a student who follows Jesus at school.” A Campus Missionary commits to Pray, Live, Tell, Serve, and Give for Jesus Christ at their school. Here’s a few brief reasons to recruit students as Campus Missionaries:

  1. Recruiting Campus Missionaries puts the burden where it should be—on the students. Many pastors believe it is their responsibility to single-handedly reach a school or a city. This may be a noble approach, but it may also be an ego-centric approach. The truth is that we are called “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). In our context of youth ministry, that means helping students view their school as the mission field it is and equipping them to reach it.
  2. Using a term like Campus Missionary defines purpose and seriousness, and creates an impetus for the task. Those of us in ministry recognize the serious task missionaries have before them—go into a foreign and strange land and make disciples. Using the word “missionary” helps define the role of the student and delineates the difference between them and the rest of the school. Their presence as a follower of Jesus is powerful, and being a Campus Missionary will help them to realize that.
  3. The Campus Missions structure provides great accountability and encouragement. As a registered Campus Missionary, students are expected to give a report each month on how they did in representing Christ on their campus. Those reports are shared with the National Campus Missionary director, myself as the district Youth Alive Missionary, and the youth pastor. I respond to each report that comes in personally, and so does our national director. Students, and you as a leader, are not alone in the goal of reaching the campus.

For more information on Campus Missionaries and the commitment involved, I recommend checking out yausa.com/campusmissionary

One of the key questions most Youth Pastors will ask when approaching the campus is, “Where do I start?” Should I personally go to the campus? Should we start a Bible Club? Should we bring in an assembly program like The Seven Project? The answer is actually much closer to home. Before launching all out into the...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 1 )

Topics and Booksfor:

Books for the 2016 Cohort

(participants receive these as part of their registration)

The Leadership Challenge, Barry Z. Posner and James M. Kouzes
The Grit Project, Gerry Stoltzfoos
The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch
Gospelize, Greg Stier
Initiate: Powerful Conversations That Lead to Jesus, Lee Rogers
God So Loved: A Student’s Guide to Sharing Jesus at School, Lee Rogers (book release scheduled for March 2016)

Topics

  • Becoming the Kind of Leader Who Can Impact a Campus
  • 5 Core Behaviors of a Leader
  • Leadership Attitudes
  • Cultures in Church Ministry
  • Principles of Cultural Change
  • Casting Vision & Creating Checkpoints
  • Finding Time for the Campus
  • The Power of Networking
  • Getting On Campus
  • Starting a Campus Club
  • Creating Culture
  • Legal Issues
  • Inspiring Campus Missionaries
  • The Campus Missionary
  • Moving Culture
  • Principles of Planting a New Ministry
  • Coaching a Campus Club
  • Communicating With Effect
  • Being Proactive On and Off Campus
  • Campus Missionary Tools
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Designing Outreaches on Campus
  • Hitting the Wall
  • Maintaining Momentum
  • Continuing Culture

Facilitators       Guest Conversationalists       Topics       Reviews

Components       Schedule & Cost       Registration/Questions

Books for the 2016 Cohort (participants receive these as part of their registration) The Leadership Challenge, Barry Z. Posner and James M. Kouzes The Grit Project, Gerry Stoltzfoos The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch Gospelize, Greg Stier Initiate: Powerful Conversations That Lead to Jesus, Lee Rogers God So Loved: A Student’s Guide to Sharing Jesus at School, Lee...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Hitting the Wallfor: Students

When I youth pastored in Philadelphia, I rode my bicycle to the church most nice days. You would too if your other transportation was a 1985 Ford LTD Crown Vic with no air conditioning. We lived in the Lower Roxborough section of the city, on the border with Manayunk, and the church was in Upper Roxborough. The “lower” and “upper” descriptions are no joke. It was a 30-minute uphill ride to get to church, and about a 15 minute ride downhill to get home. As I pedaled day-by-day, my body adapted. I lost weight and grew muscle. I loved riding my bike to work!

We lived just a block away from where the famous Philadelphia International Cycling Championship entered and left our neighborhood. One of the centerpieces of the race was called “The Manayunk Wall,” a very steep hill in the middle of the neighborhood that separated the men from the boys. One of my personal goals, as I rode to work each and every day, was to eventually make it up the wall without stopping. The first time I tried, I had to get off my bike and walk up. When I tried it again, a few weeks later, I made it up easily. Training made all the difference.

Almost every Campus Missionary and Bible Club I know hits the wall, at least temporarily, about halfway through the year. The school year starts out strong, and we are loaded with vision and dreams of what God can do in our school. But as the year progresses, we may get tired out, or find that our efforts were not as successful as we hope they were. Sometimes we just get overloaded with the concerns of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, our jobs, and balancing life. The end of the school year is nowhere in sight. Almost everybody hits a wall.

But hitting the wall doesn’t mean your progress has to stop. The key is finding a way over, around, or through that wall. It means moving past the stalling point and progressing further towards the goal of praying, living, telling, serving, and giving on your campus for Jesus Christ. So…how do you get over the wall?

A great way to get over the wall is to do an outreach, serve your school, or hold an event. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. For example, Valentine’s Day is approaching. What if your Bible Club, or just a group of you and your fellow Campus Missionaries, created hearts with scripture on them that tell about God’s love? You could put the hearts on every locker, or just hand them out with some Valentine’s candy around school.

Whatever you do, don’t walk away from the race! Get over that wall!

When I youth pastored in Philadelphia, I rode my bicycle to the church most nice days. You would too if your other transportation was a 1985 Ford LTD Crown Vic with no air conditioning. We lived in the Lower Roxborough section of the city, on the border with Manayunk, and the church was in Upper Roxborough. The...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Taking Initiative – Part 3for: Students

The 1-Month Callenge

Editor’s Note: We’ve been doing a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in school. For the next few weeks we will look at some different initiatives that you can take on in your school as you Pray, Live, Tell, Serve and Give.

When I was in high school and had fully committed my life to Christ, I made a conscious commitment to live my life with the mission of God in mind: to seek and save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). I also took a great interest in my own growth as a Christian. I started doing something that helped me fulfill both of these objectives at the same time; I started carrying my Bible with me at school. Even better, I started reading it at every opportunity that came along – downtimes, study halls, extra time after I had completed a test, etc. What started as an attempt to read my Bible more with the time available to me turned into an opportunity to share my faith.

People started to notice when I was carrying my Bible around. Why? Because nobody does that. I even had a teacher jokingly ridicule me in front of the class because I was reading my Bible when I had completed a test. That may seem like a bit of a challenge, but I was thankful that attention was drawn to the living Word of God, how valuable it was to me, and how it was changing my life. There wasn’t a fancy name or organized initiative for it back then. I was just a guy trying to be devout in my faith. But now we do have a name for it: The 1-Month Challenge.

It’s pretty simple: for one month carry your Bible with you everywhere you go. Don’t tuck it away in your backpack or purse, but carry it in your hand is a visual display your commitment to Christ and your desire to pray, live, tell, serve, and give as a missionary for the Gospel. Make it a physical version of the Bible rather than a digital version on your iPod. Everybody does stuff on their iPod in their spare time, so no one will really think anything of it if you’re reading your Bible on it. But an actual physical edition of God’s Word will make people notice what you’re doing. Then they’ll start to ask questions. Carry it everywhere: school, work, home, church, the mall, the movie theater, football games, hanging out with your friends, everywhere!

Start by committing to do this for one month, just 30 days. See where that takes you and the conversations it opens up. Then consider making it a part of your lifestyle. Here’s some great resources to help you:

National 1-Month Page

1-Month Video[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/28532190[/vimeo]

The 1-Month Callenge Editor’s Note: We’ve been doing a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in school. For the...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 1 )

Taking Initiative – Part 2for: Students

Editor’s Note: Last week we had the first of a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in school. For the next few weeks we will look at some different initiatives that you can take on in your school as you Pray, Live, Tell, Serve and Give.

30 Second Kneel Down

Long before Tim Tebow made taking a knee in prayer popular, students were bowing for prayer in their schools. The 30 Second Kneel Down began over 15 years ago from the vision of a guy named Tom Sipling. The initiative is simply to take 30 seconds at the start of each school day to bow your knee and pray, perhaps at your locker, and ask God to help you through the day. You can also take time to pray for your friends, your school, your family, or anything else that may be on your mind.

You can actually pray for quite a lot in 30 seconds. And when you’re kneeling in your school for prayer while everyone else is getting books out of their locker or hurrying to get to class before the bell rings, 30 seconds will seem like an eternity! But I challenge you to take initiative and pray for 30 seconds on bended knee to start your school day. The 30 Second Kneel Down is an open, visual display of your commitment to God and your commitment to pray for your school.

Originally, the following pattern was recommended for the 30 Second Kneel Down:

  1. Give thanks for 10 seconds. “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:8 ESV).
  2. Pray for your School for 10 seconds (students, teachers, administration). “And when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…” (John 16:8 ESV).
  3. Pray that God will use you to spread the Gospel to those in need for 10 seconds. “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV)

You can follow that pattern, or you can spend the 30 seconds praying however you wish. The 30 Second Kneel Down organization cited the following stats about what could happen if Christian students everywhere prayed for 30 seconds to start the school day:

  • 10 students x 30 seconds x 180 school days = 15 hours of prayer each school year
  • 30 students x 30 seconds x 180 school days = 45 hours of prayer each school year
  • 100 students x 30 seconds x 180 school days = 150 hours of prayer each school year

How about if every Campus Missionary in Pennsylvania and Delaware started this? Last year we had 589 Campus missionaries. That’s over 883 hours of prayer each school year!

Editor’s Note: Last week we had the first of a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in school. For...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 2 )

Taking Initiative – Part 1for: Students

Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in school. For the next few weeks we will look at some different initiatives that you can take on in your school as you Pray, Live, Tell, Serve and Give.

See You At The Pole

The national day of student led, student initiated prayer will take place Wednesday, September 26. Every Campus Missionary should be a part of this event. Prayer is the first commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the opportunity to join with other students from your school who are gathered for prayer is something you won’t want to miss. Here are some ways that you can take initiative:

Arrange. Talk with your parents or some friends to make sure you have a ride, or to see if they need a ride to See You At The Pole. You don’t want the day to arrive and realize you can’t get there because you haven’t made arrangements. Arrange your schedule and your life to get there.

Advertise. Print off posters to hang up around your school (be sure to get permission first). Ask the person in charge of your school announcements if an announcement can be made about See You At The Pole.

Lead. Who is coordinating See You At The Pole at your school? Can you help that person or group? If no one is taking that initiative, then you should lead it. Check out this video. It gives helpful hints for planning and leading your See You At The Pole.

Catalyze. Dictionary.com defines the word catalyst as “a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.” See You At The Pole will energize and encourage Christian students in your school. How can you harness that energy for a greater impact that lasts beyond one day? Consider asking the students in attendance if they would meet once each month (or week) for prayer. Maybe your fellow students gathered around the flagpole are the founding members of a Bible Club that doesn’t yet exist in your school. Catalyze a movement for Christ in your school by harnessing the energy of See You At The Pole.

Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring a series called “Taking Initiative.” The commitment of a Campus Missionary, and the desire to impact a school for Jesus Christ, requires that we think and act creatively to accomplish this goal. Taking initiative means that we actively try to share and demonstrate our faith in...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Keeping it in Frontfor: Youth Leaders

At our our back-to-school retreat in September (Advance), we took time to honor a few of the most committed campus missionaries in the PennDel District. These students not only committed to be campus missionaries during the past school year, but they also consistently reported on their activities through our online campus missionary reporting system. It’s very easy to inspire students to commit to be campus missionaries. However, it’s an entire different matter to see them follow that commitment through on a consistent basis throughout the school year. Furthermore, it can be a challenge to get them to consistently report on their activities through the online system. There were two churches that consistently had several students reporting, one of them was Assembly of God of North East. Kris Lewis is the youth pastor there, and I asked him how he was able to procure such consistent results from his students. He thought about it for a few weeks and then sent me this reply:

“I know there have been a couple times when you have asked me what I have done to “prompt” or encourage my students to be CM’s and fill out their reports.  And really the funny thing is I really haven’t done much.  We come to Advance every year, and that really has been the driving force behind it.  From Advance and the focus on CM’s, our students started a prayer meeting at their school (we represent only one school for the most part), took ownership of SYATP and really lead the other church youth groups it seems in our area.  Again I really don’t know where it comes from… LOL.

From the Ministers Enrichment this year when Dick Foth was talking about keeping it Simple, and then also in our break out session if I had to put my finger on it. I guess I can say the big reason is that we TALK and fuel our students to do all the work at their school.  Kind of fueling their fire from Advance by talking about and giving opportunities for them to invite a peer.  LOL, really just teaching and releasing for ministry.”

Kris has identified one of the key principles to success in youth ministry. I call it the “Keeping it in Front of Them” principle. Someone else much smarter than me has probably already identify this and given it a more proper name. Regarding his success, Kris writes, “the big reason is that we TALK and fuel our students to do all the work at their school.” He consistently fuels their fire. He keeps it in front of them. If you want students to retain and stay committed to the things you’ve taught them, you’ve got to keep it in front of them. Not just once, not just twice. You got to keep it in front of them on a consistent basis throughout the year. What are you doing to keep Campus Missions, or any of your core youth ministry values, in front of your students?

At our our back-to-school retreat in September (Advance), we took time to honor a few of the most committed campus missionaries in the PennDel District. These students not only committed to be campus missionaries during the past school year, but they also consistently reported on their activities through our online campus missionary reporting system. It’s very easy...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Are You Blind, or Do You See?for: Youth Leaders

Last week I had the honor of recruiting Campus Missionaries at a great youth group in Central Pennsylvania. When I am challenging students to become CM’s, I like to explain the fivefold commitment of pray, live, tell, serve, and give. That can be quite a task when you only have 30-45 minutes to explain, inspire, and have a response time. I usually try to incorporate the five commitments into the inspirational portion of my message so it naturally intertwines. While speaking about the “give” element of a Campus Missionary, I referenced Proverbs 29:7, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern”(NIV).

I recognize that words justice, injustice and the phrase social justice have become large buzz words over the past decade. That is not a bad thing. The prophets of the Old Testament were huge advocates of social justice. Isaiah was especially sickened by the ornate nature of Israel’s religious class when compared to the poor in Hebrew society. In a sound rejection of Israel’s showy fasting habits, he wrote, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6 NIV).

There is great injustice happening in our own neighborhoods that we frequently do not recognize. Perhaps the focus on global justice has taken our eyes off of being locally focused on mission, as well. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in good social justice. Providing clean water, medical care, and education to impoverished people groups are things the church should be leading in. We definitely recognize the injustice of children born into areas of the world where they will not have access to the basic needs of humanity. But do we recognize the injustice that is happening in our own neighborhood? I am speaking of Spiritual Injustice. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19 ESV). He was talking about the great Spiritual Injustice that existed then and still exists today.

Are you blind to this injustice? If you were to look at the composition of your youth ministry, what would that look like? Do the students in your youth ministry primarily come from Christian homes? My guess is that, for most youth ministries, the answer is yes. That is because most of our students grew up with the privilege of a Christian witness in the home. However, there are thousands of students in each of our neighborhoods who have not had the same privilege. This is Spiritual Injustice. This is what Jesus came to correct. When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, the Father spoke, “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles” (Matthew 12:18 ESV). We only add to the injustice if we are unwilling to be missional in our context.

So what can we as youth leaders do? We are called, as pastors, to eqiup the Saints for the work of the ministry. Addressing Spiritual Injustice begins with teaching our students to be missional in their schools. Begin by casting vision in your ministry for missional living. Consider Recruiting Campus Missionaries as a starting point. Begin to pray for a burden for your schools. Do something! Injustice will never be corrected while we only talk about the problem. You are the primary line of discipleship to the students in your youth ministry. Therefore, the impetus is on you to missionally shape them.

Last week I had the honor of recruiting Campus Missionaries at a great youth group in Central Pennsylvania. When I am challenging students to become CM’s, I like to explain the fivefold commitment of pray, live, tell, serve, and give. That can be quite a task when you only have 30-45 minutes to explain, inspire, and have...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Sticks and Stones…for: Students

Do you know the power of your words? There is an old rhyme that says, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The truth is words are powerful and have the capacity to build up or tear down. The words you say have the power to make you an effective Campus Missionary, or they can make you a person people don’t want to be around. This truth is not limited to those whom you want to reach as a Campus Missionary, either. If you speak negatively to teachers, parents, or others around you, it can also affect your success as a Campus Missionary.

James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26 ESV). As a Campus Missionary you have made a commitment to live for Christ (you’ve also made a commitment to pray, tell, serve, and give). How you choose to control your tongue directly affects the effectiveness of your commitment. James says if you don’t control your tongue, you aren’t living for Christ very well. To put it another way, if you are living for Christ but refuse to control your tongue, you have fooled yourself into believing you are more committed than you actually are.

Make a commitment to honor God with your mouth. You will be a very effective Campus Missionary if you honor God with your words by building up the people around you. As David wrote, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14 NIV).

Do you know the power of your words? There is an old rhyme that says, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The truth is words are powerful and have the capacity to build up or tear down. The words you say have the power to make you an effective Campus...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Bringing It Homefor: Youth Leaders

Most of us have had the experience of a weekend youth retreat. In addition to coming back tired and worn out, we come back excited about the work God did in our lives and in the lives of our students. We are exhilarated by the enthusiasm for Christ our students are exhibiting. We are convinced that change has occurred, and that this change will reverberate through our youth ministry. And that’s really where we want to be. We don’t just want to bring our students home, we want to bring the change home.

On Labor Day weekend, many of us were together for an awesome weekend retreat called ADVANCE. This back-to-school retreat saw many students making commitments to become Campus Missionaries and recording a goal for this school year. I was very pleased with the outcome of the retreat, and most youth leaders I’ve spoken with were equally enthused. Now we have to bring it home.

Let’s talk about bringing it home. First, a few realities:

  • You can bring students home. You can even bring changed students home. But you can’t bring the retreat home. The band, video, lighting, and general retreat-environment will stay behind.
  • Students will expect to maintain the spiritual-emotional high they experienced at the altar. Can we blame them? But in reality, we weren’t designed to maintain such a euphoric state. Our body, mind, emotions, and spirit are affected by the ebb and flow of our environment.
  • Not everyone in our youth ministries experienced the retreat. Some groups just had a few of their students in attendance, others had a majority. Regardless, there will be some who missed out on what the others experienced.

Now, let’s work on bringing it home:

  1. Explain the difference between emotional impulse and spiritual commitment. If students calculate what happened at the altar as an emotional high, the results will only last as long as their emotional state. Recognize that emotion is a part of the decision making process, but that a spiritual commitment is not dependent on an emotional state. We may no longer “feel it,” but our commitment is still important. A good example of an emotional roller coaster in scripture is Elijah, whose manic-depressive journey 1 Kings 18-19 speaks to us all about the fragility of human emotion and the steadfastness of God.
  2. Take ownership of the results. Move forward from the retreat by allowing students to testify to what God did in their lives, set up a support system to help them achieve their goals and dreams, and provide accountability and encouragement as time goes on. If students perceive you are not interested in what God did in their lives, they will quickly lose interest as well. You are their shepherd, and the value you place on God’s work in them validates it from their perspective.
  3. Replicate the process in rest of your group. It’s unlikely that all your group was a part of ADVANCE, or any retreat you’re doing. So encourage them to make the same commitments the rest of the group made. Include them in what God did, and make use of the students who did go to the retreat in the process. Get your whole group on the same page. In the case of ADVANCE it would look like this: (a) highlight students who made a commitment to be a Campus Missionary, (b) explain what it means to Pray, Live, Tell, Serve, and Give, and (c) offer the remaining students an opportunity to commit to be a CM.

Need help recruiting Campus Missionaries? Read this post on Getting Started in Campus Missions, then check out our related posts.

Most of us have had the experience of a weekend youth retreat. In addition to coming back tired and worn out, we come back excited about the work God did in our lives and in the lives of our students. We are exhilarated by the enthusiasm for Christ our students are exhibiting. We are convinced that change...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 1 )

Give (Advance Student Workshop)for: Podcast

Are you a giver or a taker? Do you know the difference? There are six qualities of giving that the Corinthian church had in the Bible. Students will be challenged to have these qualities in their own lives and GIVE not only to local, but global projects and even go themselves to the mission field. Because each Campus Missionary has a valuable contribution to make, we will lastly focus on the four gifts each student has and how he or she can use those gifts to ADVANCE God’s Kingdom at his or her school.

Play

Are you a giver or a taker? Do you know the difference? There are six qualities of giving that the Corinthian church had in the Bible. Students will be challenged to have these qualities in their own lives and GIVE not only to local, but global projects and even go themselves to the mission field. Because each...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Serve (Advance Student Workshop)for: Podcast

As as Campus Missionary, or a Christian for that matter, serving should be an integral part of our lifestyle.  In Matthew 20:26-28, we see that Christ himself came not to be served, but to be a servant to all. Serving is the process of moving words to actions, putting faith into motion, and reveals our love for someone in a tangible way.  During this session we explore the necessity of serving the campus and community, practical tips to serving effectively, and some easy ways you can start serving today.

In the session, I use a video I got from BluefishTV, which you can view by clicking here.

Play

As as Campus Missionary, or a Christian for that matter, serving should be an integral part of our lifestyle.  In Matthew 20:26-28, we see that Christ himself came not to be served, but to be a servant to all. Serving is the process of moving words to actions, putting faith into motion, and reveals our love for...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Welcomefor:

Welcome to reachtheschool.com! This site is a great resource for students who want to represent Jesus Christ on the campus, and for the leaders who support and encourage. Check our the Student and Leader blogs by clicking on the links below. If you are here to register as a Campus Missionary or report as a Campus Missionary, use one of the links below!

Student Section

Leader Section

 

Welcome to reachtheschool.com! This site is a great resource for students who want to represent Jesus Christ on the campus, and for the leaders who support and encourage. Check our the Student and Leader blogs by clicking on the links below. If you are here to register as a Campus Missionary or report as a Campus Missionary,...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

5 Reasons to Start a Bible Clubfor: Students

Starting a Bible Club is a great and important consideration in the life of a Campus Missionary. Here’s five good reasons to start a Bible Club:

  1. You are not alone. There may be times you feel you’re all alone as a Christian in your school. The truth is there are many Christians in your school, but they are mostly afraid to stand out alone. Starting a Bible Club provides a way for Christians to easily identify one another and join together for encouragement, accountability, and outreach.
  2. You are a leader. Christians are not alone in most schools, but they won’t realize it until a leader steps up to unite them. Additionally, when you start a Bible Club, you show yourself to be a leader to those who do not yet know Christ. Many students are just waiting for someone who will lead towards Christ.
  3. You are planting a church. Every Bible Club that’s planted is actually a church plant in that school. It is an organized fellowship of believers that exists to worship God, disciple believers, and reach the surrounding culture. Just as a church functions as a light in a neighborhood, so your Bible Club will be a light in your school.
  4. The gospel is bigger than your youth group. You will be amazed at the number of Christians from different churches that will want to join with you. By reaching across church lines and joining together for the gospel, you can have a powerful impact on your school.
  5. You can reach your school—but not without help. One way or another, you need help to reach your school. A large part of that help will come from the Holy Spirit, but you will also need the help of other Christians in your school. That’s the way God has designed us.

 

Starting a Bible Club is a great and important consideration in the life of a Campus Missionary. Here’s five good reasons to start a Bible Club: You are not alone. There may be times you feel you’re all alone as a Christian in your school. The truth is there are many Christians in your school, but they...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Promoting Your See You At The Polefor: Students

See You At The Pole is just a few weeks away, and by now I pray that you have begun to formulate a plan for putting your See You At The Pole together. Just as important as planning the actual event is promoting the event. See You At The Pole is not just an event for you and your friends, it’s an event that can and should attract Christians from all over your school, including many you may not even know. Here’s a few ideas to think about in promoting your See You At The Pole (SYATP):

  1. School Announcements. Talk to the person in charge of your school’s audio or video announcements and have SYATP announced with the date and time. This is a great way of promoting during the week of SYATP on Monday and Tuesday. Many schools allow this, some will not.
  2. Posters. Find out from the principle if you can hang up posters. Some schools will allow this, others will not.
  3. T-Shirts. If you cannot advertise over the announcements or by hanging up posters, consider yourself a walking advertisement. But some shirts from syatp.com, or make some yourself, and distribute them amongst your friends to advertise SYATP.
  4. Pole-Pass Lanyards or Wristbands. You could buy either of these items from syatp.com, or create them yourself. You can buy the lanyard rope and hook from any office supply store, and create the advertisement that will hang from the lanyard.

It’s also possible that you are able to plan your See You At The Pole because someone else is already in charge of it. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of what’s happening. Remember, one of the five commitments of a Campus Missionary is to “Serve.” What better way to serve then to approach the leadership and see how you can be a part, or to make some suggestions to how you could help the process.

See You At The Pole is just a few weeks away, and by now I pray that you have begun to formulate a plan for putting your See You At The Pole together. Just as important as planning the actual event is promoting the event. See You At The Pole is not just an event for you...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Making a Decisionfor: Students

Making a decision can be one of the most trying ordeals any person can go through. Should I or shouldn’t I? What if I do? What if I don’t? Hopefully making a decision to be a Campus Missionary was not that difficult for you. Scripture is clear about our calling to represent Christ in our everyday lives. The Apostle Paul felt it was a high calling and stated, “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 ESV). Paul had made the decision to devote his life to Christ, and that directed the course of his life.

The decision to be a Campus Missionary makes a lot of other decisions easier. When faced with pressure to do something you know to be wrong—like cheating on a test, gossiping about someone, or telling a lie—the decision has already been made. You’ve already decided not to do any of those things because you are a Campus Missionary. Just as the Apostle Paul’s choice to devote his life to Christ drove him “to testify to the gospel” and to finish his race strong, so your decision to become a Campus Missionary helps set the direction of your future decisions. Remember, we “do not account” our lives of value, except that we may Pray, Live, Tell, Serve, and Give for Jesus Christ on our campus.

Making a decision can be one of the most trying ordeals any person can go through. Should I or shouldn’t I? What if I do? What if I don’t? Hopefully making a decision to be a Campus Missionary was not that difficult for you. Scripture is clear about our calling to represent Christ in our everyday lives....

Posted by:     Comments: ( 1 )

Prayerfor: Students

Hello Everyone,

It’s been awhile since we have last updated our blog, but after a very busy season we are so glad we are able to help you focus on being a missionary to your campus. It’s always nice to remember our fundamentals as campus missionaries and to remember to pray daily for our school and those that we hope to reach by living our lives for our lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 10:1 says “Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is that they may get salvation.”  Prayer is so essential to our own faith, not to mention how much of it can affect whether your friends at school get saved by the healing blood of Jesus Christ. We approach school as being very monotonous and boring, but what if we were to wake up each morning and pray to our beautiful God that He would allow us to take hold of every opportunity to share His Word and speak the love of God into our friends lives. School starts to look a lot more like a missions trip than it does as a boring place that teaches us Algebra, English, and Science. Prayer is so essential to your everyday life and has the power to do anything we could think of. James 4:3 says “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” this means that we have ask God  for the COURAGE, WISDOM, BOLDNESS, and PATIENCE to witness to your campus for a pure heart so that he can work through us when we ask for his blessing and help. Pray daily and allow God to work through you on your campus.

Hello Everyone, It’s been awhile since we have last updated our blog, but after a very busy season we are so glad we are able to help you focus on being a missionary to your campus. It’s always nice to remember our fundamentals as campus missionaries and to remember to pray daily for our school and those...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )

Facilitatorsfor:

LeeLee Rogers

Lee is a Youth Alive Missionary and author. With over 16 years of full-time youth ministry experience, his ministry context has ranged from urban to rural. A driving passion for the campus and developing missional students set the tone in his youth ministries.As a youth pastor, Lee recruited campus missionaries from his youth ministry every year, establishing a missional presence in nine schools. In addition, students from his youth ministry led Bible Clubs on five different campuses, three of which were started from scratch. He was also president of the Merge Leadership Network, a locally based multi-denominational group of youth leaders who joined together for the purposes of influencing the campus and the local youth culture. He also served as a Rep for the South Central East Section of the Assemblies of God in PennDel. He is the author of Initiate: Powerful Conversations That Lead to Jesus, a resource designed to help students to talk about Jesus in everyday conversations.

Lee is a credentialed Life Coach, a graduate of the University of Valley Forge, and a Doctoral student at Regent University. His wife, Kiki, is a sixth grade science teacher in the public school, a graduate of the University of Valley Forge, holds a masters degree from Penn State, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Florida. She has also served as the teacher-sponsor of a Bible Club in her school.

robRob Gillen

With nearly a decade of full-time youth ministry experience, Rob serves as the high school pastor at Christian Life Assembly in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. He’s guest lectured on campus ministry at the University of Valley Forge, and he’s mentored more than three hundred students on fourteen high school campuses. Along with writing for ReachTheSchool.com, Rob has also contributed to Group Magazine.

Rob is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and he’s received his Bachelors in Pastoral Ministry and his Masters in Theological Studies. Rob and his wife Kara are proud to parent a son and two beautiful daughters.

 

Facilitators       Guest Conversationalists       Topics       Reviews

Components       Schedule & Cost       Registration/Questions

Lee Rogers Lee is a Youth Alive Missionary and author. With over 16 years of full-time youth ministry experience, his ministry context has ranged from urban to rural. A driving passion for the campus and developing missional students set the tone in his youth ministries.As a youth pastor, Lee recruited campus missionaries from his youth ministry every year,...

Posted by:     Comments: ( 0 )