Growing students into servants

Students servingI first met Jason when I picked up his friend Jay from church and Jay asked, “Can I bring my friend Jason along?”

I said, “Sure, plenty of room.”

Jason sat in church, actually listened, and when I dropped him off a couple hours later he asked, “Can I come again next week?”

About six weeks later Jason accepted Christ at our Easter service and I began discipling Jason one-on-one. (Is it a secret that I’m a fan of connecting one-on-one?) Jason started growing, got plugged into a Bible study and attended youth group regularly. A year later, I asked him to join our junior high leadership team. At 17-years-old, he was the youngest on my team.

For those of you who are familiar with my “Six Types of Kids” model, Jason moved from a Checking-Things-Out Kid, to a Growing Kid, to a Looking for Ministry Kid.

What moved Jason from a kid who was just “checking things out” to a student leader?

More like “who.” The answer is this: God moved in this kids’ life. But God chose to let Jay (Jason’s friend who initially invited him to church) and myself in on the process.

It started with his friend inviting him to church. Our pastor did a great job at presenting the Gospel message in church every week, and Jason liked what he heard. I responded by discipling him and teaching him truth so he could grow in his faith. Our church provided fellowship and accountability, surrounding Jason with a brand new group of friends who encouraged him in his new faith-walk. Finally, I noticed that his faith walk was sincere and gave him an opportunity to step up and use his gifts serving?

Do kids in your community have all these opportunities?

  • Are Christian kids engaging in spiritual conversations with the “Jasons” of the world and inviting them to church?
  • Is your church presenting the Gospel message and giving an opportunity to respond?
  • Are you discipling new believers?
  • Is there a place for young people like Jason to plug in, make Christian friends that will encourage him and keep him accountable?
  • Do you have opportunities for kids like Jason to serve and use their gifts, ministering to others? (I discuss ways to do this in Ministry By Teenagers)

Very often, we are really good at some of the above elements, and really poor at others. We might be really good at making the “Jasons” of the world feel welcome and hear the Gospel. But we’re really bad at discipling and developing leaders.

Which are you good at?

Which areas could your ministry improve?

What are some ways you’ve had success reaching the “Jasons” of the world and helping them grow to eventually become leaders?

Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Posted on June 8, 2011

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