Student Ministry – Transitions (Part 3 of 3)

Student Ministry Transitions

THE FOLLOWING IS THE LAST PART OF A 3 POST SERIES ON TRANSITIONS IN STUDENT MINISTRY.  TRANSITIONING IN TO STUDENT MINISTRY, THE LAND BETWEEN, AND THEN FINALLY TRANSITIONING OUT OF STUDENT MINISTRY.

Transitioning Out

  • The Student
    • Where do they stand spiritually?  What kind of shape have you left them in?  They’ve been in your student ministry for the last 6 years, 7, 8 years…have they grown?  Do they have a functioning understanding and awareness of God’s word?  Before they transition into another person’s ministry, have you set them up for success?  Or failure…
    • Students are no longer graduating from high school, and them immediately entering adulthood
      • One of the interesting phenomenons about the day and age that we’re living in, is that the overall maturity level of an 18 year old high school graduate is significantly less than what it was 25 years ago…in fact, my Grandma, was married at 15, and had my mother by age 17 or 18!
      • However, we cannot have 30 year olds in the same ministry environment as a 12 year old!  They might both live in their respective parent’s basements and play video games all day, but they’re not (or at least they shouldn’t be) at the same level of maturity!
      • We need to understand this, and even though students aren’t (as a majority) maturing as fast as they used to, we shouldn’t expect them to not mature spiritually!
    • Does your church have a Hyphen (college age, young adult, whatever you want to call it) ministry set up?
      • One of the best moves our church has made in the last decade is really figuring out our Hyphen ministry (we call it Navigate).
      • We were throwing everything we had at our Sunday School ministry…everything we had at our Student Ministry, and then……..nothing.
        • We weren’t taking into consideration that they weren’t as “mature” as we were and ready to embrace adulthood!  So, we were making the same mistake that churches everywhere were making, and as a result, we were losing them left and right…
        • If you don’t have a Hyphen ministry (that would be a ministry for students, single, ages 18 or so to 35 or so), go home, meet with your pastor, hold a brainstorming session, and within the next 30-60 days, launch one!
  • The Youth Worker
    • Operate as if someone else will have to take over tomorrow
      • I’ve often used this as a way to determine if I’m functioning and operating at the highest level I possible can!
        • What would happen with everything that you’ve ever worked so hard to put together…would it all be forgotten?  Would your team know what to do if you weren’t around?  Or…is it just all lodged away in the database of your mind?
    • Invest your leadership into a team
      • I’m really serious about this, I don’t care if you only have 3 kids!  Get someone to help you out, recruit someone that you can do ministry with!
      • This will remedy a lot of problems that I’ve touched on already!
      • Furthermore, you MUST multiply yourself…especially the larger your group becomes.  It will at some point, become impossible for you to personally meet the needs of every student in your ministry…so multiply yourself!
      • Clearly we should all be familiar with leadership guru John Maxwell, if you haven’t already, definitely read his book on The 17 Indisputable Laws Of Teamwork.
    • My last point might be the most critical.  At some point, you will leave your current ministry post…for whatever reason…and trust me, I know it’s inevitable for all of us.
      • But this is what I want you to understand…even though you might be removed from the daily interaction of student’s lives, they’re still watching your every move.
      • Do everything you can to live a life of consistency.  Because they’re watching you!  They’re watching us!

Don’t allow an unfortunate devastating transition in your life translate to an equally unfortunate and devastating transition in their lives.

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