New Yearsfor: Students

New Years

It’s a new year; a fresh start. Some people use the New Year to make resolutions and try and better themselves, some use it to set goals on things they want to accomplish for the year, and some use it to say they are going to do things that they said they would do last year. I believe that the New Year can be a really key holiday for Campus Missionaries. It gives us a chance to set up new goals for our schools and a chance to look back on what worked and what didn’t work in our evangelism from the previous year. That is what I would like to encourage you guys to do this year in 2015. Use this year to achieve things way above anything you have done in previous years. Set goals for yourself: personal goals, goals for your school, goals for your education, etc. Take a look at how many students you saw come to Christ this past year. Set a goal to double or even triple those numbers. You can set goals with your bible club! See how many new people you can get to each bible club meeting! Try and bring 1 or 2 new people each week. Try and plan more outreaches, maybe do 1 or 2 outreaches each month. Brainstorm with your bible club and ask God what He wants you to do this year. For some of you, it will be your last year in high school, so make it count! Maybe you can make it your goal to show God’s love to at least 1 person every single day. Maybe you make a new friend every week and share the Gospel with them.

Take a look back at this past year. What worked when it came to telling students about the Gospel? What was the most successful approach? What was the least successful approach? How can you improve? Discuss these questions with your bible club and come up with the most ideal ways. Get creative and think of new approaches. Have everyone in your bible club write down 2 or 3 goals they have for their school this year and help each other achieve those goals! Maybe you don’t have a bible club yet in your school; make it your goal to have a functioning bible club in your school so that others have an opportunity to attend it. Maybe your bible club is dying out or not enough people go; take charge of it and make necessary changes to see it thrive like never before. God has great plans for all of you people, so tune in and see what it is that He wants you to do.

New Years It’s a new year; a fresh start. Some people use the New Year to make resolutions and try and better themselves, some use it to set goals on things they want to accomplish for the year, and some use it to say they are going to do things that they said they would do last...

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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...

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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...

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Livefor: Students

Live

We live in a generation fascinated with one of the silliest creatures known to man… Zombies. We are fascinated with the idea of the living dead, and it got me thinking about the LIVE DEAD program that has been started in countries like Egypt and other places halfway around the world where the word of God is never heard of and Christians are persecuted daily for their faith. Now some of you are thinking, how does this apply to me?”  My response to you is : it’s time to adopt the idea behind the Live Dead initiative. The missionaries in the Live Dead program have made the choice to lay their own lives down and to serve the Kingdom of God daily. They wake up each morning dead to themselves and know they might lose their lives preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s time that we adopt that lifestyle as we walk into our schools everyday and die to ourselves and have the great commission at the forefront of our minds and focused on allowing Jesus to work through us in order for him to save our school, so that they can might be able to embrace their loving God. We are always saying how we want to be like Jesus but, wasn’t he the first zombie? Now I don’t mean to suggest Jesus was a mindless dead body. But think about this: Not only did he actually rise from the grave, but he lived everyday as the son of God and dead to his flesh and let Gods power flow through his worldly body. It’s our responsibility to follow the example Jesus Christ has set before us and to do that on our campuses. We need to walk onto our campus knowing we are dead to ourselves and able to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and powerfully to our peers.

Live We live in a generation fascinated with one of the silliest creatures known to man… Zombies. We are fascinated with the idea of the living dead, and it got me thinking about the LIVE DEAD program that has been started in countries like Egypt and other places halfway around the world where the word of God...

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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...

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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...

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The Bridge Cardfor: Students

The BRIDGE Card

bridge card

Going through school can be challenging as a teenager, not to mention if you have a faith in Jesus Christ then it has more then it’s share of challenges. Although we know of the great reward in eternity we will receive for living our faith out to the example Christ set upon the Cross for us, life can get discouraging. But although we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death we are called to proclaim the love of our God. Now, telling others about your faith can seem like a daunting task and seems almost impossible without offending someone, here is a way to show God’s Love to others and help you start the conversation of salvation with a friend by using your own story of how god has changed your entire life with his amazing and faithful love he has graced us with regardless of our past. The power of the Bridge Card is YOUR story, it really is your testimony that gives it the power for you to relate to others and help them understand salvation. As you walk through your story, point out each verse with the corresponding block of the card. The goal of the card, is to tell others that Jesus bridged the gap between Him and us, and that they to walk on that bridge and take part in the everlasting life God has presented us with.

 

The DesireThe thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10 NLT)

 

The Problem

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23 NLT)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NLT)

 

The Answer

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Ephesians2:8, 9 NLT)

 

The Response

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9 NLT)

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:9, 10 NLT)

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NLT)

The BRIDGE Card Going through school can be challenging as a teenager, not to mention if you have a faith in Jesus Christ then it has more then it’s share of challenges. Although we know of the great reward in eternity we will receive for living our faith out to the example Christ set upon the Cross...

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TELLfor: Students

A normal human being will speak at least 10,000 words a day. Thats a lot of words!  But what do we say with these words? Matthew 12:36 states “I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak.” So every word counts! What are you saying to those around you with the thousands of words you speak every day.

We are challenged as Campus Missionaries to TELL our story, the story of how God radically changed our lives. In order for our friends to come to Jesus, we must show Him in every action we perform, every word we say, and every attitude we display in all situations. TELL your story and see what happens…see who is impacted…see what God truly has for you! In Revelation 12:11 it says “They overcame [the enemy] because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn’t love their life, even to death.” Our Testimony is the culmination of our experiences, adventures, and situations we faced before and after we met our Lord God, and accepted His Son as our Savior… So by our testimony and the blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we have overcome the advesary. With See You At The Pole taking place yesterday, people may be asking questions. Get ready to TELL them about a God that is so caring and loving that He sent His Son to die upon a cross for us. Share the good news and your testimony!

A normal human being will speak at least 10,000 words a day. Thats a lot of words!  But what do we say with these words? Matthew 12:36 states “I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak.” So every word counts! What are you saying to those around...

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Bridging the Gap Between Churches and Schoolsfor: Youth Leaders

There is no greater place in your community to impact more people for God than your local schools. For every child that attends a school, there is a family. For every teacher, staff and administrator there is a family. Many area businesses provide goods and services for the schools. There are very few people in your community that are not connected in some way to a school campus. When a church ministers to a school, it ministers to an entire community.

Now, I know what you are thinking. “God’s not allowed in schools, so our church can’t minister there.” To say God isn’t allowed anywhere is an indictment on your view of God and on your faith in Him . God is God. He can go anywhere and do anything He wants. In fact, the Bible says God is omnipresent, so that means He is already at school. The Bible also says wherever two or more are gathered in His name, there He is also. If we are at the schools in His name, then He will be there with us.

So, the question isn’t “Is God allowed in schools?”. It’s, “Are we going to take God to schools?”

Here are 5 steps and 3 principles you and your church can use to begin ministering to a school and take God to the campus:

5 STEPS

  1. Begin praying for the campus. Ask students and staff for prayer requests. Pray for each student and staff member by name (Use a yearbook). Do prayer walks on your campus. Build a Prayer Zone around your school.
  2. Begin serving and meeting the needs of teachers, administrators and students that are members of your church. Ask them what they need for their classrooms or areas of responsibility and provide. Word will spread quickly that you are ready and willing to serve and others will request assistance. This will help build trust to open the door for step #3.
  3. Set up a meeting with the administration to ask them what needs they have as a school. Meet with the Guidance Counselors to learn about needs the students have. Begin by meeting one need. Once you have met one need, begin meeting others. NOTE: You will not be able to meet every need but you may be able recruit other churches and other businesses who can meet needs your church is unable to.
  4. Start asking “What do you wish for?” Teachers and administrators have a long list of needs…the things they must have in order to educate students. What really get’s interesting and creative is when you ask them what they wish they could do for their students. Most teachers and administrators have a “wish list” of things they have always wanted to do for their students but do not have the time, money or energy. Meeting a needs is a blessing, but meeting a wish is something much more powerful!
  5. Get involved! Join the Parent/Teacher Organization, the Band/Athletic Boosters, chaperone school dances, proctor standardized tests, mentor and assist students serving in campus ministries at the school…get involved wherever you see an opportunity.

3 PRINCIPLES

  1. Do not expect or ask for anything in return. One of the first things you will encounter is that the school will suspect you of having ulterior motives and wonder if they can trust you and your church. Most of the time these concerns are legitimate because they have been burned and mislead in the past by people claiming to have the school’s best interests at heart when in reality they had other plans. The school, although desperate for help, will not share their major needs and wishes with you until they know they can trust you. For example, when you provide notebooks for students, don’t slip in a gospel tract or flyer for your youth ministry. When they ask you to volunteer at the school, don’t show up with your Christian t-shirts on.
  2. Trust that God will use your servant’s heart to open doors for deeper ministry. If you approach every opportunity to serve as an opportunity to “preach”, your ministry at the school will not last long. While school officials are concerned about any ulterior motives you may have, they also understand that there is a greater purpose involved in your service. When serving students or adults at the school, simply meet their need…don’t force any spiritual discussion or direction. Trust that God will use your service to work in the hearts of those you are serving and that He will provide opportunities outside of your service to minister to them spiritually. (BTW, Jesus was a master at meeting physical needs first, them addressing spiritual needs.) So when you are chaperoning a dance, be polite and respectful of the students. If you catch two of them making out, politely ask them to stop and don’t give them a lecture on “True Love Waits”. Then, when you run into the students in the hallway of school the next week, or in Wal-mart the next day, they may approach you and ask you why you are always at their school or why you didn’t lower the boom on them like they expected. That’s when God opens the door for ministry to the soul.
  3. Earn the trust of the school and keep it. Be overly protective of any favor that you gain with the school administration. All it takes is for one person to cross a line or cause someone to complain, and the administration may limit or cut off your ability to serve. This would include blatant “proselytizing”, disruption of class time, or causing a burden to be placed on someone at the school. For example, if you serve the football team bottled water for practice and the school custodian has to put in extra work to pick up all the empty water bottles scattered across the practice field, that person may complain to the administration. Remember that your goal is to relieve stress on the school, not to create it….to be a blessing, not a burden.

The opportunity to minister to schools is wide open! We must simply do so in a way that honors and respects the school and it’s rules, while at the same time honors God with our servants hearts.

The schools need our help and want our help. So, what are you waiting for?

Getting Practical

Here is a list of things our church has done to serve the high school that sits across the street from our church. Please leave a comment and share any ministry ideas you have for schools.

  • The band & ROTC use our gym for band camp and drill team practice.
  • Provide the guidance staff male & female toiletry kits.
  • Serve at the prom each year as bathroom attendants and parking lot attendants and have provided hair and make-up artists to fix “wardrobe malfunctions”.
  • Provided breakfast for students and parents at orientation.
  • Provide water, cookies and chips to staff during teacher work days.
  • Provide coffee to assist the PTA serving breakfast to teachers and staff.
  • Serve in crisis response coordinating teens at the hospital and helping with communication between students, the hospital, parents and the schools. Coordinate with the guidance staff to connect local youth pastors to be available for counseling students after the death of a student.
  • Provide umbrellas for teachers on bus duty.
  • The school’s preschool program used our nursery for 2 years when their school had mold problems.
  • Youth group participates in prayer events for the campus throughout the year.
  • Provide volunteers for Field Days and proctors for standardized tests.
  • Administration has used the sanctuary for teacher training when school was undergoing renovations.

There is no greater place in your community to impact more people for God than your local schools. For every child that attends a school, there is a family. For every teacher, staff and administrator there is a family. Many area businesses provide goods and services for the schools. There are very few people in your community that...

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Breaking the Threshold: 3 Simple Ways to be Present on Campusfor: Youth Leaders

My wife and I were watching a TV series on near-death experiences one night, and we heard the story of a hiker who got lost in the woods. He wasn’t that deep in the wilderness, he was only about three miles from the nearest road. The problem? He was hiking in circles. Unwilling to break away from his current track, he hiked the same circle over and over again. Soon, the sun began to set, and with no phone, no shelter, and no survival training, this young man died of hypothermia. He was alone in the woods, just a short distance from civilization.

In youth ministry today, this same story is being lived out in the lives of youth pastors and their students. We believe that if we just keep pressing forward, we’re going to eventually get the results that we’re looking for, but that’s not promised to us if we’re not being intentional about the direction in which we take our ministries.

One crucial way of being intentional is being present on the high school campus. I once heard Preston Centuolo say, “Students are in two places; their schools and social media. If we’re avoiding those venues – we’re not doing youth ministry.”

Ryan Sharp from www.everyschool.com writes “Don’t retreat back to the safety of the church and convince yourself that campus ministry isn’t for every youth pastor. It simply isn’t true.” I would echo his words with the call for youth pastors to make themselves personally present! Youth pastors belong on the high school campus.

Schools are communities within themselves. Once you’re in – you’re golden. But as an outsider, it can be uncomfortable at first. Here are 3 simple ways to be present on your campus:

1) Sponsor a Campus Ministry – Some schools already have strong clubs going. If that’s the case, see if your students are part of the club and have them invite you out to be a sponsor. If your students aren’t present, connect with the club and ask if you can be of assistance. Find out who’s currently sponsoring the club and invite them out for coffee (even if it’s a teacher – teacher’s like coffee too!)

One of the biggest excuses I hear from leaders is that their students aren’t interested in doing campus ministry so they can’t get on the campus. This just isn’t true. A friend of mine in ministry just ran into similar circumstances. His students weren’t attending the club because it wasn’t “hip”. So he took the initiative himself and started serving in the club without his students. Within a few weeks, his students started attending the club as well (this is called leadership). By the way, you’re “hipper” than you think!

2) Seek Opportunities to Serve – The needs on a high school campus are innumerable! Use your imagination. Young Life, a parachurch ministry,  compiled a list of 33 different ways their leaders are serving their schools in Indiana. Some may not apply to your context, but I bet at least five of them do.

3) Attend School Events– There is no substitute for longevity and relationship, but you can accelerate the process of earning trust with your school by being present on a consistent basis at events open to the community (sporting events, art shows, musicals and concerts, etc.). I try to find events where I can support multiple students.

If you see them, be sure to say hello to the principal, the assistant principal, or anyone in leadership. Politely and appropriately make your presence known. They’re probably not going to remember you at first because they meet thousands of people. That’s okay.  Once you approach them several times, they’ll put two and two together, that you’re someone important from the community and that you care.

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Being intentional takes time and effort, but honestly, is there any other path to take except the path that leads us to our destination, and to results?

The story of that hiker still grips my heart. It’s doubly important that we take the right path, because you’re not the only hiker on this trail. You’re students are following you. Lead the way, leader!

My wife and I were watching a TV series on near-death experiences one night, and we heard the story of a hiker who got lost in the woods. He wasn’t that deep in the wilderness, he was only about three miles from the nearest road. The problem? He was hiking in circles. Unwilling to break away from...

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Before You React…6 Tips to Reach the Schoolfor: Youth Leaders

Last week we began a series on being intentional in youth ministry. The underlying principle is that you’ve got to be intentional if you want to get specific outcomes in discipleship. This is also known as being “proactive” in your approach to youth ministry. The opposite of being proactive is being reactive. A lot youth leaders conduct their youth ministries in a reactive manner. They see issues, problems, or drama amongst their students and then address those issues in a sermon or activity as a reaction to what they see. For example, if the students in your youth ministry are very selfish, you may be tempted to preach on the evils of selfishness. But if you really want to correct selfish behavior, you should talk about sacrifice and teach students what it means to give, because giving is the cure for selfishness. This is being proactive (instead of reactive) in youth ministry. It’s another form of intentionality wherein you schedule and gear your youth ministry culture towards producing discipleship outcomes, as opposed to simply reacting to sin issues. As you produce meaningful discipleship outcomes, you’ll find that those major sin issues become non-factors. So before you react, pro-act.

Imagine if Jesus had been a reactive leader. Peter could not walk on water until the whole betrayal thing had been worked out of his system. The Sons of Thunder would have been put on some type of medication to calm them down before they could be challenged with deep principles of discipleship. Thomas couldn’t participate in Jesus’ ministry until his doubt had been addressed. Instead of reacting to the sins and issues Jesus knew his disciples would engage in, He proactively challenged them follow Him and engage in missional activity along the way. He does the same thing with us today.

So…how can you be proactively intentional in order to produce the outcome of missional living in the lives of your students? Start with what you’re doing in your youth group. What you’re preaching, planning, and spending money on should all point to reaching the school if that’s the outcome you desire. Here are six practical things I recommend you do if you want to reach the school and create a culture of missional living:

  1. Schedule your preaching calendar, small group sessions, discussion times, etc. to include a 4-8 week series on living missionally on the Campus. Preach about the reaching the school, discuss the reaching the school, gear your small group curriculums towards reaching the school. Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it…and then talk about it some more!
  2. Schedule and plan to participate in 3-4 events that geared towards reaching the school with the Gospel in August and September. Here’s some suggestions:
    • Advance. This back-to-school retreat takes place Labor Day weekend of each year and focuses on the individual values of missional living. Stay tuned to this blog for more info.
    • Unleashed: Campus Ministry Training Conference. These regional 1/2 day events focus on student group efforts to reach the school (Bible Club planning, outreach events, etc.).
    • Pre-Pole Rally. Get together with some other youth pastors in your area and plan a rally the weekend before See You At The Pole.
    • See You At the Pole. Promote it, help your students plan for it, go to it, follow up with testimonies in your youth service after it.
  3. Schedule at least half a day each week to be on the school campus. What you do with your time speaks volumes about what you value. If campus missions is important to you, and having students who live missionally is important to you, make time to be in their mission field!
  4. Use some of your youth ministry budget for Campus Ministry. Consider giving a grant to each local Bible Club for use in missional activity. Don’t have a budget? Have a fundraiser and create a budget from the profits.
  5. Challenge your students to a special personal initiative they can do in their school. The 1-Month Challenge, 30 Second Kneel Down, and wearing visual displays such as buttons are all good examples of this.
  6. Recruit and equip some leaders to be involved in reaching the school. Our adult leaders are some of our best resources, so give them a meaningful task by asking them to be a Bible Club coach.

Last week we began a series on being intentional in youth ministry. The underlying principle is that you’ve got to be intentional if you want to get specific outcomes in discipleship. This is also known as being “proactive” in your approach to youth ministry. The opposite of being proactive is being reactive. A lot youth leaders conduct...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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