So I was reading a book the other day that was talking about the “heart” of the matter when it comes to student ministry… and they said it was to “love God and love students.” I couldn’t agree more… except they didn’t say anything else about it. So I thought I would pull that statement into the student ministry world a little bit more 🙂 So here we go:
It is the student pastor’s responsibility to cultivate an environment among the volunteers in the student ministry of Loving God and Loving Students. You must do both to be effective in student ministry.
First and foremost, we must love God. Above being a student pastor… we are a worshipper. Above being a student pastor… we are a child of God. Our student ministry must flow out of a genuine love for God in our own lives. If we are not passionate about God… why would we expect our students to be?
This is what we do, right? We need to have a genuine, compassionate, appropriate love for teenagers. We also need to show our volunteers how to do this. I don’t know about you… but I need to be reminded from time to time that THIS is why I got into this in the first place.
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8
I was reminded today of a great principle to remember in youth ministry: If you want your ministry to last and if you want to make it for the long haul in youth ministry… It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Launching and starting something new is easy, and it usually is the part that brings the most excitement and energy… But it is the END of something that is the most important. Take the New Orleans Saints football game sunday for example. The Saints charged out to a commanding lead… only to lose the game in overtime. What was their problem? They did not finish strong. They jumped out early… and then figured their momentum from their start would carry them through to the end. But it is not how you start… it’s how you finish.
The END of something is the TRUE TEST of a leader. Why? Because beginning well doesn’t take a lot of internal strength and mental toughness. Finishing strong does. Finishing strong takes a lot of patience, intentionality, and consistent follow through. And it is those qualities that you will need in youth ministry to make it for the long haul.
If you want to last in ministry… learn what it means to finish well.