Student ministry is often nearly invisible to the Sunday morning crowd. The students often meet in a distant space on a different night of the week. Perhaps, people will see a quick announcement slide for a pizza party, but that is about all the exposure the youth gets to the church.
How do we intentionally give the student ministry a larger platform in the church?
Personally, as a young kid in youth group I was always ready and eager to take part in any church function and outreach opportunity that I had available to me. It was always a great opportunity to help out the community in some way but also have a great time with my friends.
Here are three creative ways to help the youth of your church get involved in local ministry!
Teach the Significance of Serving
Sometimes youth leaders feel the need to apologize to their students when introducing a service project. We need to teach our youth that serving is important and empowering. Have your youth hit the town and collect food for the local food banks! At each house, offer a time of prayer if the homeowners have any prayer requests that need attention. This will serve as a physical example of the impact students can have within the community. End the night off with some cookies and hot chocolate, because who doesn’t love free snacks? Be sure to celebrate these projects with the church!
Have your youth group pick a cause close to their heart. This can be a church need, a need within the community, or even a local charity. Find fun & interactive ways that your teens can use their talents and abilities to raise money for their cause. A common example would be setting up a “Rent-a-teen” fundraiser in your church. Think of this like a church craigslist — without all the creepy stuff and lice-infested couches. Have your teens make job-postings they can offer the church. This can include raking leaves, cleaning houses, mowing lawns, setting up in-home wifi, babysitting, or even creating custom bird-houses. Create a progress board to hang in a public place designed to celebrate their progress.
Feel free to set different rewards for each benchmark that your group reaches! For example, if your group raises $100 they win a movie night, at $300 they all get pizza, and at $500 the youth pastor gets a tattoo of their choice. Your group will enjoy the challenge!
(Seriously, don’t do that tattoo thing.)
Do a Teen Takeover
Let the teens take over the service. I know these are common, but this often looks like the staff just issuing assignments to different youth. Take it further. Let the teens actually PLAN the service. If you really want to have fun with this, give some key students access to the church social media accounts – letting them do promo for the event. Give them complete control of the project so that they can express the creativity God gave them. It is a project that they will enjoy and they will be blessed through out the process.
Youth have energy and passion that the world NEEDS. Student Ministry hinges on the fact that the youth are not the church of tomorrow – but the church of today.
How does your youth group reach out to their community?
About the Author
Rebekah Conboy is from the middle of nowhere. She is a wife, college student. and writer. She loves reading classic literature, watching movies based on classic literature, writing stories inspired by classic literature, and eating pizza. She also has a serious weakness for cute dogs.