Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thankful for Student Ministries that Get it Right...

Last week I posted an article that discussed the results of a poll conducted among students and the negative impact of age-segregation and unintentional student ministries. Thankfully, not all student ministries fall into this category. For example. our Minister of Students at First Baptist Jackson, Casey Williams, is working hard to design a ministry that is characterized by doctrinal and theological integrity, intentionality and a missional focus. Casey gets it and is leading our students and parents into a deeper understanding of life-changing student ministry.

Sadly, he is still in the minority.
Even though the original article was an "opinion" piece and not a research-based article (it was based on an ongoing poll and used a sensationalized title to get attention), it did highlight important concerns facing those of us who minister to students. The negative results of entertainment-driven worship and student ministry have taken a toll on an entire generation of students. These results have been quantified by LifeWay Research and The Barna Group (just to name two) and can be observed in the spiritual depth of students entering college (see the stats from Louisiana College posted HERE). At First Baptist Jackson our Minister to College Students (Steven Smith), Casey and myself work in tandem in planning and designing our ministry approaches.  This includes everything from service design to staffing. We must understand we are in this battle together...there are no "Lone Rangers"!

As we move into the next decade it will take all of us working together to reach the Millennials, the largest and most un-churched generation in the history of the world. The stakes are too high and the eternal impact is too immense to allow our ministries, whether worship or student based, to be defined by consumerism, entertainment and a lack of connectivity. I'm thankful to work with Godly  men like Casey and Steven, and look forward to what God is going to do through their leadership.

Pursuing the Call!

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