Archive for the ‘Student Ministry’ Category

Student Ministry Leadership Philosophy

Traditional thinking tells me that we should have hired a full time student pastor about a year ago.  But every Wednesday night, we gather about 130 students together for a student ministry service, and we still don’t have a youth pastor on our staff.  I’m not saying we never will…but what we’re doing now works, so why change it.

I was a student pastor for 12 years, so I know the mind of a youth pastor.  I think most up and coming student pastors have in their minds that the most important thing they will do is teach students.  And it’s still true that most youth pastors want to be “real” pastors one day.

But the #1 job of a youth pastor, especially for us, is not teaching.  I have 5 or 6 people on our staff, plus several people in our church that are more than capable of teaching students.  So why hire a youth pastor, 90% of whom want to just teach, to do that?

Instead of a traditional youth pastor, we have a student ministry team.  I call them the super team.

  • There’s a worship leader, who leads worship at the student ministry service.
  • There’s a very organized person who administrates, communicates and makes sure details are handled.
  • There’s a student ministry intern college student who does the hosting and relationships and hangs out with students.
  • And there’s a young married guy who leads a group of student leaders…discipleship kind of stuff.
  • I take care of the teaching…either teaching myself (60%) or arranging for other speakers (40%)

Instead of getting a youth pastor, who may be good at one or two of these things, we have four people who are in their sweet spot.  Organizationally, they all report to our Family Pastor.

I’m not saying you should organize your student ministry this way, but it works well for us.  I’m not saying we’ll leave it this way, but it works great now.  The key is to create a system that works for you, not just hire someone because you ought to.


Church Planter Discount for Sidekick Summer

As a church planter, I know church planting budgets are tight.  And as
a youth pastor for 12 years, I also know the value of involving your
teenagers in quality events.  For this reason, Sidekick Students is
offering a big church-planter discount on our upcoming Sidekick Summer
event in Washington, DC.  We are offering churches that are less
than three years old a $40 discount…this brings the cost of the trip
down to our real and raw cost.
  We’re doing this because we have a heart for church planters and new churches, and we want to help any way that we can.

With this discount, Sidekick Summer costs just $209
.  This includes hotel lodging in a great hotel just blocks from the US Capitol and Union Station.  Morning and Evening worship will be led by Tenth Avenue NorthJohn Evans
will speak in the morning sessions and I will speak in the evening
sessions.  We provide a dozen small group lessons that are designed to
be done on location around the city during the afternoons as your
schedule permits.  Imagine coming up to the WWII Memorial which reads
"here we mark the price of freedom" and stopping for a (seeminly)
impromptu discussion on the price that Jesus paid for your salvation. 

Our heart in this is to support church plants.  So many others have
supported Oak Leaf Church and helped us get off the ground.  Our prayer
is that this event might be a catalyst to help jump start a student
ministry or strengthen your church.

Attached is a PDF PDF document with more information.  You can get more information about Sidekick Students (where I serve on the Board of Directors) here.

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