Last night I met one on one with a student at Starbucks. I’ve been working with this student preparing him for the sacrament of Confirmation. To prepare for this “rite” we want to make sure our students develop the habits of a disciple of Christ. One of those habits is prayer time with God. I’ve greatly enjoyed my meetings with the students I’ve been preparing because it feels organic, almost like this would be the ideal ministry situation. And it would be for students to have an adult who mentors them, partners with their parents and guides that student towards God. But with that said I think there needs to be as many partnerships as possible. Let me explain how we do that and why:
- First we start with our worship program. The purpose of this program is to create a corporate worship atmosphere. A place where we can engage students on the surface, throw out an idea about following Christ and see if it will stick. The relationships they build are with other students but more importantly the worship leader, the speaker and the people who greet them at the door. These relationships are meant to guide them into deeper steps.
- Second is our small groups. We’ve gone back and forth whether to have our groups attached to the worship program, but what we find is that as soon as we throw an idea out there most students need to digest it. They do that in small groups. Here their relationships are their peers and two adults who guide the conversation. The purpose of these relationships are to dig deeper into the issue and challenge the students to apply itto their lives.
- Lastly there is the one on one. Right now this is only done in our sacramental prep; however, a goal of mine is to have this available for all high school students. While we want our small group leaders to give outside attention to their students we feel it would be important for each student to receive some time where a God honoring, teenage liking adult is there to lead them through life. This isn’t someone who will replace a parent, but someone to work with the parent in giving their student more guidance in their faith journey.
The systems not perfect and it’s take years to come up with this plan; however, I’ll admit it’s not original. It’s based off the plan found in Purpose Driven Youth Ministry and from the philosophy of North Points, Foyer, Living Room, Kitchen model. All we want to do is create opportunities for students to engage in authentic relationships. I know there are more ways to engage with students that’s why I ask:
How do you engage students in relationships that will lead them to Christ?