Yea this blog title sounds like a title of a course at seminary but how we pull this off in our student ministries is a critical concern for every youth pastor out there. Helping teens grow in their faith in a way that impacts their everyday life is difficult and none of us have it figured out. Doug Fields is a leader that has served teens for over 20 years and today at Orange and today he helped us process what youth discipleship looks like. Check these ideas about how to lead our student ministries to become places where spiritual growth is happening…
What we believe…discipleship philosophy
Spiritual growth must be about “on their own” // we get kids connected to a program and a person not to an everlasting savior where they grow on their own. We have to connect teens to something other than personality. Teens showing up does not mean teens are being discipled.
Reproducible discipleship is relational based // not content, not classroom
One person can’t disciple everyone // you need a team who has a huge, Jesus had 12 and one was a failure. Give your small group leaders your title.
Failure, doubt, and pain paves the way to spiritual growth. // these are moments to help teens find faith // as youth leaders your heart will also be broken because many you invest in will fail.
Students can reproduce themselves // we need to use juniors and seniors to invest in younger generations
Who we are…discipler qualities
Visionaries of teenage spiritual growth.
Examples of spiritual growth // they don’t remember your talks, they remember your example. Never allow the work of God to destroy the work of God in us.
Transparent with our journey // if kids feel like you are perfect they simply can’t relate
Relational in our approach
Tender in our response // if we know the hurt people face we treat them differently
What we do…program initiatives
Provide a “beyond youth group” relational/support // put mentors in the lives if teens that will encourage for the long haul
Motivate and maintain a climate of spiritual growth // we have to be the culture setter!
Go small // small groups, mission trips, events, fun!
Create and distribute spiritual growth resources // take home tools that teach and show them. If kids are not asking Bible questions then they are not reading the Bible.
Help teens SERVE