Helping Students Focus On A Campus Missions Strategy
You don't need to be told that school consumes the time and lives of students. But, it's important to be reminded that each week your students constantly interact with their peers, many of whom do not know what it means to have a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
God has placed your students strategically in the high schools and middle schools of your community. What if you could help your students see their time in class as less of a drudgery and more of a divine appointment?
This transformation of attitude is what a campus missions focus is about. What if you took at least one youth ministry gathering a year to not only remind students that God could use them to change their school for Christ, but to really equip and challenge them to do so? Here are some important concepts to remember as you consider what it looks like to have a "campus missions" focus.
Remind Students of the Great Gift of the Gospel
It is important to remind students of the great gift that they have in their relationship with Jesus Christ through the gospel. Your students have been loved and redeemed by the God of the universe. Students must begin to truly understand the amazing nature of the grace that they have been given before they will be passionate about sharing that grace with others. It has to sink in. It has to be internalized.
Remind Students of the Great Commission
You must also remind students of Christ's Great Commission. As students go through their lives, they must begin to realize that God has placed them in the school that they attend, on the sports teams that they play, and on the street that they live, etc. God has placed your students there to be a light in the midst of the darkness, pointing people to Jesus. Help your students grasp that the Great Commission is a command from Jesus for all believers not just a suggestion for the extra-spiritual.
Remind Students of the Great Need
It is important to remind your students that there are hurting people all around them that need the gospel. It may be helpful to gather some statistics of hurting teenagers, such as attempted suicide numbers for your county, to show your students that hurt is a reality in their school. Chances are, your students know better than anyone what is going on just under the surface of many of their friends and acquaintances.
Remind Students that God Works Through Them
Many students are hesitant to embrace a campus missions strategy and reach out to their peers. (If we're honest, this is a challenge for most adults, as well!) Reminding them that the Holy Spirit lives within them and that He is the one who does the work is really a must. Helping them see that God wants to work through them is key to helping them own this concept. But how can we lead students through the uncertainty they feel?
Here's the deal: Students understanding these great truths alone will not change the schools in your community. You must call students to practical action in light of these truths. Students will not act unless they have internalized both the concept, and the concept's importance. In other words, they have to VALUE these ideas before they will act on them.
Students have to feel like these concepts are vitally important before they will incorporate them in their lives. That's why a concerted campus missions strategy is so vital.
So here's some questions for you:
- What are you doing to help put a campus missions strategy in place?
- How do you help students internalize these truths so that they actually apply them?