Student ministry is all about investments. We are making "payments" into students lives. We would love to see return on our investment immediately but sometimes in student ministry that investment doesn't have a return until years down the road.
In our setting, our student ministry team members are not chaperones. We don't sit along the back wall during Student Church, we sit in and among students so they can see us model worship. During our Hang Time on Sunday evenings the adults don't all gather in one part of the room and have coffee. During Hang Time we hang out with our students. Last night I was eating spaghetti and meatballs (yes, we eat well on Sundays) at a table with high school guys. As I looked around our space I saw a leader sitting with a couple of guys watching the football game on the big screen, some sitting on the sofas having conversations, some serving food and talking with the students in line, some playing foosball and ping pong. It's all about investment.
Going to sporting events, band concerts, dance recitals all of that is investment. When a student looks out into the crowd and sees their youth leader sitting there they remember that investment. It's huge. It's all about investment.
Each week in our Connect Groups there are two adult leaders in each group. These leaders discuss God's word and applying the word with the same group of students each week. They spend time praying with these students in the group and then continue to pray for them throughout the week. It's all about the investment.
Last night one of our senior guys pointed to one of the men on our team and said, "______ came to my rescue this weekend." I was a bit puzzled because we, as a youth group, didn't meet on Friday or Saturday for any sort of event. So I asked this young man, "What do you mean he came to your rescue?" Saturday night was homecoming dance. This young man's dad was at work and wasn't at home to help him tie his necktie. He called this team member and asked him if he could help him tie his necktie. This leader got up from whatever he was doing that Saturday afternoon and drove to this young man's house and tied his necktie for him. That was an investment! This is the glue that will help this young man stay connected to his faith and church next year when he launches out into the real world next year, the investments his youth leaders have made into his life.
Is your team making investments? Are your team members more than chaperones? Are they looking for opportunities throughout the week to invest in the lives of the students they minister to?