Student Ministry is Worth it

As I’m writing this post I’m sitting in a chair at my house with a busted lip. Recently at one of our church wide fellowships I was playing a game with one of the students in our student ministry, lost my footing, and went face forward into the platform he was standing on. Yes, it kind of hurt. Yes, it was funny. Is student ministry worth it? Every single time.

Lord willing, every Wednesday night we will have students rushing our doors around 5:30pm for our weekly student ministry worship service. The praise band is usually wrapping up their final preparations before we pray over the service. Coming through the doors are students in their sports practice jerseys talking about the upcoming game. Coming through the doors are a group of students with their smartphones out barely paying attention to what’s right in front of them. They are texting, talking, whispering, texting some more. Just moments later I’m opening up the Word of God, praying God will pierce their hearts through his Spirit. I look up and see the student whom has enough brokenness in their life to fill the lives of two or three people. Is student ministry worth it? Every single time.

As I sit in my office I take a look at the upcoming calendar. I see a calendar full of events, programming, bible studies, small groups, praise band practices, and so on. I look at my office phone and see the voicemail light blinking. I think about my wife. She deserves a full energetic husband and not a tired, worn out one. I say a silent pray to myself that I keep my priorities in check. I love the ministry and what I’m called to do. I also know and believe that if the ministry comes before my Savior or my family, my priorities are out of line. Still… is student ministry worth it? Every single time. It is worth it but my relationship with Jesus and my wife definitely come first.

It’s the night before we leave for summer camp. I have eight thousand things running through my head all at once. Does every student have all the right forms filled out? My cellphone is lighting up like a Christmas tree from parents, students, and chaperons. At the same time I’m thinking about tomorrow’s drive and praying we have good weather. As I go to sleep that night I pray that God will open our minds, eyes, and hearts to what He has for us. We wake up, head to the church, pick up rental vans, pray over the trip with parents and students, load the vans, and head off to camp. Is student ministry worth it? Every single time.

I’m driving to church early Sunday morning to pray over our Sunday services with the pastoral staff and deacons. I probably pass a dozen churches that in just a couple short hours will be filled with cars. I read some of the church signs and some are just plain silly; some are thought-provoking. I think about our bible study hour in which students with their adult leaders will open the Word of God together. Some students come because their boyfriend or girlfriend comes. Some students come because their parents made them. Some students come because they love the church and worshipping with other believers. Some will listen in their small groups, some won’t. Some live for Jesus, some don’t. Is student ministry worth it? Every single time.

Student ministry is worth it because Jesus is worth it. Teaching teenagers the Gospel story and inviting them to surrender their lives to it, never gets old. Sure there are moments when I feel like throwing the towel in. Sure there are moments I’m extremely frustrated. At the same time I think about the impact this generation can make and needs to make. I think about the other ministries within the local church and how we can partner together in reaching families for Christ. Then I think to myself…

Is student ministry worth it? Every single time.