REIMAGINE STUDENT MINISTRY
The “Reimagine” project seeks to apply New Testament principles to present-day modes of church practice.
How will you reimagine student ministry to meet the realities of our current situation? What innovative practices can you utilize while still upholding the core teachings found in Scripture? Below you will find some information, tools and resources to help you begin to reimagine.
During this season of COVID-19, youth ministry has shifted from meeting in person, playing silly games, and interacting and connecting as we’ve always done to something entirely different. Students who were already labeled as the most anxious generation to date are now more fearful about the future. Adult youth leaders have more responsibilities at home and at work. The challenges of constantly replanning youth activities has sent the youth minister into a low he or she has never experienced. Distant volunteers make for isolated planning with little creativity and Zoom burnout.
What effect will all this have on the future of youth ministry? Questions are numerous: Will students return, or will parents keep them home? Will youth leaders discover their joy of serving teenagers again? Will families desire the freedom to worship when and where as they want, clicking on different church services and ministries? Will the church be relevant in this new normal? Will students, youth leaders, parents and leadership be willing to evaluate what they did before and its relevance now? Does anyone have the mental capacity to be creative and shift to something never done before or consider less activity with bigger impact?
Tips & Tools
Where do we start? Gather a small group of students, adult leaders and parents to form a new youth ministry vision team. Begin by assessing all the programs and ministry your youth group has done in the past. Rank them based on how God used them in the past. Be bold enough to evaluate if something was more business than productive ministry. Decide it’s a new day. Nothing remains unless there is merit to life transformation. Take your time. This may not happen in just one meeting. Contact older young adults who were once involved. Ask how that ministry assisted them in staying involved in church and growing in Christ after graduation. Listen as they share what they wish they had known. Don’t be afraid to evaluate.
We grow when Scripture leaves our mind and touches our heart. How we treat others from the sound guy to the student on the last pew makes ministry infectious. In the past, more energy has been placed on the praise team and the audience than meeting needs of the individual. This generation is hungry for relationships, to be heard and to be accepted. Real ministry breeds authentic volunteers. Be willing to ask what is happening in your ministry that can only be explained by the power of God.
Tips & Tools
Planning Your Youth Ministry on Purpose
How to minister to youth in ‘such a time as this’
Youth Ministry in a Unique Time: Anxiety, Depression and Disappointment
Points to Ponder in Reimagining Youth Ministry
Recommended Reading & Resources