The following verses are my 5 Key Verses for Student Ministry. It is because of the truths found in each of these verses that I do Student Ministry the way I do it.
1Peter 1:13-16 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
God is working on each one of us at all times, working to make us more like himself. The trials we go through, the good and bad times of life, and every decision we make are all part of this process. We need to be prepared in our mind, aware that life is what God uses to mold us more into his image. We need to focus on the grace of Jesus, which will keep our eyes fixed on him. And we need to move away from our lives of sin and toward a life of obedience to Christ.
This is what we need to keep our ministries and those involved in our ministries focused on at all times, because it is what God wants to do in our lives and ministries.
Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We are commanded to be an imitator of God. That means we are to walk in love; love for God, love for those in the church, love for those outside the church, and love for those we don’t really want to love. 1 John tells us that God is love, so to be an imitation of God means to be the embodiment of what it looks like to love others.
Before those involved in the ministry can embrace the need for outreach, to be welcoming of new people, and to do service projects and mission trips…they first need to understand the importance of being imitators of God. Until that happens, the need for doing those things won’t be seen as necessary or important.
1Timothy 4:12 – Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
This verse is used a lot in student ministries, but not always the way it should be. The first statement is often the part focused on in Student Ministry, but the rest of the verse is crucial to understanding the first statement.
The second half of the verse tells them why people should not despise them because they are young. They, as young people, should set the example for everyone else in the church on what it looks like to live for God. This is what a student ministry’s goal should be, to build up and train students to be leaders who live for God in all aspects of their lives…and be an example to the adults of what it means to be Godly.
Deuteronomy 11:18-20 – You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
This passage addresses parents specifically, showing them what their home-life should be like; what the environment they bring up their kids in needs to be. Parents are to raise up kids to love God and his word, and it begins with them loving God and his words in front of them.
I am a firm believer in families, and as a Student Ministry Pastor I need to understand that I am not to replace the parents in the students’ lives but rather be a help to the parents as they strive to raise Godly children. God has given these kids to their parents, and it is their parents who are commanded to raise them.
Ephesians 4:12 – …to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ
The context around this particular verse is calling us as Followers of Christ to live our lives as God has called us to live them, and to use our particular gifts and abilities to serve God by serving those around us. In verses 11-12 Paul mentions that those who are leaders in the church (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are to equip the saints for the work of ministry…
As a Pastor of Student Ministry, the saints (flock) that I have been given the responsibility to oversee and guide are teenagers. They might be younger than the adults in the church, but that does not mean they do not have gifts and abilities to use. God has called them to live for him, and has given them abilities and gifts to be used to serve Him by serving those around them. So I am to be equipping them for the work of the ministry.
My ministry is a very student-led ministry, because I believe if we do not equip the saints to do the work of the ministry while they are still young, they will be less likely to grow in their faith and less likely to be involved in the work of ministry when they are older. As a Pastor, I am specifically called to train and allow others to use their gifts and abilities to serve God. Students are not the church of tomorrow, they are a vital part of the church now. And thus they too are to be equipped to do the work of ministry.
These 5 Key Verses for Student Ministry work in conjunction with my 5 Goals for Student Ministry.