Involve – We learn by doing

This is the final post on four words that I think we should be mindful of in Student Ministry. We have discussed the importance of our Walk, Love, and Challenge. Today I would like to discuss the importance of Involving students in ministry.

We have probably all heard the saying that we should show them how to do, we let them help us do, we help them do, then they do. This was something I learned in high school with retail and doing summer work in construction. I often times ask myself what it looks like in student ministry. While our Student Leadership Team is making the attempt to flesh this out with how some of our students are involved in the planning and executing of events within our student ministry, I don’t think there is necessarily a one-way approach to what this looks like.

I believe involving students in the Student Ministry and ministering with them as opposed to ministering to them does two things:

a) It gives them ownership – students are more inclined to invite friends to events they’ve planned, promoted, organized, and executed. This also helps evolve their view of the church and Student Ministry from a consumer outlook (What is this ministry doing for me?) to that of a minister outlook (What can I do to make this better?).
b) It equips them to lead in adulthood – I wish I knew a statistic, but I’d be willing to say that students who are active in leadership and serving in their student ministry are more apt to continue serving and leading into adulthood.

So, as a Sunday School teacher and/or small group leader, what does this look like for your ministry to our students? What if once a month you had a student teach the lesson? What if you taught them how to prepare, study, formulate a lesson plan, ask questions, and literally teach their class? How do you think that’d change their outlook towards Sunday School.  Let me know of any other ideas you may have for Involving students in the SM.

Thanks for your time,
-T

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