Keanae Congregational Church, Keanae, Maui, Hi.
Whenever someone is trying to sell me one something I naturally ask “what’s in it for me?”. Same goes with your church. You may be in a church culture that has been solidly rooted in the idea that the staff does the ministry. “I drop my money in the plate each week so we can pay you to be the one that stays up all night with the middle schoolers at a lock in.”
I had the great blessing of living on Maui for several years. A person may not understand the attraction of going to Maui but if I pull out the photo album and start showing pictures of Maui the person will go “oooohhhhhh. I want to go there.” There is an attraction to the tropical especially when we start showing pictures of palm trees and crystal blue water and drinks inside of a hollowed out pineapple. Same thing can happen with student ministry once we start painting a picture of what student ministry is about. People often think of us like cruise directors, we plan all the fun. We need to share the stories of life change so the church can buy into more than just financing our position but invest time and talent/giftedness into students’ lives.
Active volunteers on a student ministry benefits the church. Our church is healthier when we are serving. We are taught in the Bible that we are expected to serve one another and we can’t be healthy as a body if we aren’t following God’s command to serve. So the church will experience spiritual growth as our members roll up their sleeves and dive into ministry and that’s huge! It will benefit our church by improving our reputation in the community. When your town hears about, sees, and finds out that you have a group of adults who are investing each week into the lives of teens your church will be viewed differently by those you are hopefully attempting to reach. When parents, not connected to a church, hear that your church is heavily invested in making a difference in teenager’s lives this will make your church more attractive to those parents. Your church will benefit by growing.
There is the benefit to the church that involvement brings. When a team serves together there are relationships built and fellowship happens. Involvement is like a glue when it comes to keeping people from sliding out the back door of the church. The tighter the team is, the stronger those relationships grow then the stronger the church will be. Better involvement is what every pastor wants to see in the church body. As you build your team other ministries in the church will take notice of what is going on and it can become infectious. Soon the other ministries want the same type of fellowship that is built among the student ministry team.
Team building benefits the church because it boosts spiritual growth. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17)
As team members discover the joy of using their spiritual gift in the church the team members grow stronger in their relationship with God.
As team members realize their passion and see their passion expressed and involved in changing lives they grow stronger in their relationship with God.
As team members realize that the abilities they have acquired through life can be used to impact a teenager’s life they grow stronger in their relationship with God.
As a team members personality starts to shine through and be used to influence students for Christ the team members relationship with God grows stronger.
A team member, who as a child experienced the heartbreak of watching their parents split up, sits down and cries with and prays with a student who is experiencing the same grief in their life and the team member realizes that God can use them to help bring healing to a student that team members relationship with God grows.
As individuals in the church grow spiritually the local church grows stronger.
The student ministry team can influence the impact and spiritual health of the entire church body.