You get out what you put in…

Many of our youth workers may already know this, but I am constantly evaluating myself in our student ministry… Am I doing my best in this area? Are we dropping the ball in this area? Should I be doing more in this area? One thought that has stayed with me for years is that you get out what you put in. This is true with relationships, our family time, exercise, our checking account, personal study time, and student ministry.

What you invest in your family is a direct indicator of the relationship you have with them. The money you deposit in your checking account is a direct indicator of what you are able to withdraw. The effort you put in to reading the Bible and praying is a direct indicator of your growth in your relationship with the Lord. The same goes with our involvement in student ministry.

If you are serving in student ministry, ask yourself “what is my goal?”  Is it to teach Sunday School? Lead Small Groups? Avoid the adult prayer meeting on Wednesday nights? Keep an eye on your child and make sure she’s not chasing boys at church? Chaperone trips?… If the answer to some of these is yes, that’s great. You may think to yourself, “I don’t know what my goal is, I just somehow got stuck here.” Don’t misunderstand me, most of the above goals are great (if you’re just trying to avoid prayer meeting, that’s a problem, haha). They are vital to the survival of a student ministry. We NEED SS teachers. We NEED Wednesday Small Group leaders. We NEED Candy Bar Sellers & Hall Patrol; so y’all keep doing it because you are a vital part of what God is doing in the life of our student ministry!

But, if your goal is to invest and disciple students as you help them follow Jesus, it will often take a little bit extra than an hour on Sunday morning and/or 90 minutes on Wednesday. Things like,

  • The random text or phone call of encouragement
  • The intentional watching of a ball game, or band concert, or graduation
  • The sincere interest in what’s going on in their home
  • The commitment to know more about them than their name, grade and what chair they normally sit in
  • Going to the funeral when their family member dies

Will you let me encourage you to do something? Ask yourself a few questions (that can be applicable to any part of your life) and really chew on the answers:

  • Why am I doing this (what is the goal)?
  • Is what I’m currently doing going to reach my goal?
  • Could I/Should I feasibly do better (this is not to be confused with doing more)?

As I said, I often re-evaluate where I’m putting my focus and one thing it has shown me is that there is a difference in “doing more” and “doing better.”  My goal is that I make disciples that make disciples. What that looks like is constantly changing, but I know that it always takes intentionality on my part to build relationships with students and adults.

Have a great week! Seek God, Love Students, and see what He does through you!
-T

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