Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How To Get Your Student Involved In Student Ministry

One Big Problem: FEAR
One of the most common problems I find in trying to get new students involved in the student ministry is fear. Most students are afraid to visit our programming because they don’t want to enter the room alone.

To be honest I don’t blame them. It is intimidating for students to think about coming to a place where they don’t know anyone (even though they probably already know someone). When they come they will find students talking and hanging out with students and other adults who are excited they are there.

Although students ministries have adults and students ready to greet and welcome them, the new students can miss these connection opportunities because they are victims of this crippling, blinding fear.

“Okay I’ll try it once.”
Because of parental pressure (and bribery), many kids will try the student ministry once, but return to their parents with one of the following reaction:
“It’s too big”
“It’s too small”
“It’s too wild”
“It’s too cliquey”
“It was stupid”
“I hated it”

Again, some of us would have same reaction if we went by ourselves. But if a student comes with a friend, often I hear them say:
“It was great”
“I loved it”
“The people there are really friendly”
“I learned a lot”
“I didn’t know church could be so much fun”

Friends… The Key
Friends make the difference! When a student is connected with another person, he or she feels more comfortable. I have watched students walk into a meeting and leave because they were not able to locate a familiar face. As you know, relationships bring comfort. The best student ministry is one that is built on cultivateing relationships.

What can parents do?
1. Pray – It’s amazing how many parents have not considered prayer as one of their resources. I encourage you to ask God for His wisdom when talking to your son or daughter. God is more concerned about your child’s spirituality than even you are! Start here and ask God to do the impossible while you and our adult work on the possible.
2. Make connection with other adults.
3. Choose the best “first” event. Depending on your child’s personality and spiritual depth, you might want to consider which is the best "first event" for him or her to attend.

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