Where will we interact and be in community with more non-Christians on a
day-to-day basis in our lives? The answer for most who attend public
schools is middle and high school. Some may argue college could be
included. Yet, the day-to-day of seeing the same people over and over,
often happens in secondary schools. In the United States, there are more
than 67,000 middle and high schools, with more than twenty-five million
What does that mean for us as youth leaders? One, it means that we have
to go where students are. If I want to catch fish, I go to a pond that
has fish. If I fish in a pond that has no fish, what do I catch?
Nothing. We have for too long seen our church buildings as the place to
connect with students. I firmly believe that church buildings are
critical in the formation of students in their faith and in community,
but we can't see them as our only connection point. We may even need to
analyze whether it should be our main strategy for connection.
know that the majority of unchurched students attend a school, many who
will never come to our church building. Maybe we should start thinking
creatively how we can influence students in those arenas? Maybe it could
be as simple as volunteering our ministry staff toward helping clean up
after an event or help chaperone a school event. Maybe we should
consider substitute teaching once a week. This Youth Ministry
Informer is geared toward helping us think about campus ministry and
examine our ministries to see if we are fishing in the right pond.
www.everyschool.com for incredible resources and how to cover your
schools in prayer.
Leader of Youth and Family Ministries
Andy can be reached at
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Taking Steps toward Campus Ministry: Connecting with School
Every youth leader hopes to do campus ministry and do it well. Getting onto
campus can be an awesome opportunity if the right steps are taken. Many youth
leaders choose not to take steps toward campus ministry for fear of experiencing
closed doors. One of the best ways to open those doors is to create a
partnership and a trust with the school administrators.
Taking steps to build a trust and partnership with school counselors,
principals, athletic directors, and superintendents is key if you want
to build a successful campus ministry and have influence on the school
campuses in your area. Here are some ideas to help you take next steps:
1. Pray. Reach out. Set up a meeting. Pursue the partnership.
Express your heart to partner with the school and encourage a positive
influence on campus.
3. Ask about current ways to partner: Is there
an FCA group? YFC group? Bible club that meets on campus?
and honor the law. Make sure they know you will not cross boundaries.
5. Be consistent and follow through when doors open. Build trust.
As God opens doors for campus ministry... take the step.
Reeder is a member of the Youth Ministry Team. He serves as the
senior-high youth pastor at Madison Park Church of God in Anderson,
Indiana. He can be reached at
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Empowering Teachers in Public Schools
"Mrs. Miller, do you believe in Jesus?" For many teachers in our public
schools, this question results in instantaneous sweaty palms and
elevated heart rates. What rights do our Christian teachers have in
their positions within the educational system? Actually, more than you
might think. Today's teachers are allowed to answer the above question
"with a brief statement of personal belief, but may not turn the
question into an opportunity to proselytize," according to "A Teacher's
Guide to Religion in the Public Schools." This document, which is
published by the First Amendment Center and can be found at
www.freedomforum.org, contains some great information about both
teacher and student rights.
As youth workers, there are several things we can do to help empower our
Christian teachers. First, pray for them, of course! Second, encourage
them, and let them know how much you appreciate their role as Christian
adults in our schools. Finally, make them aware of their rights and
point them to reliable sources of information. Christian teachers have a
huge impact on our students, and we as youth workers can serve as a
great source of support for them, as we strive toward the common goal of
reaching students for Jesus Christ.
Byrd is a member of the Youth Ministry Team and the youth pastor at
South Memorial Drive Church of God in New Castle, Indiana. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She
helps facilitate communication between STW and those on the field.
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How can we get outside the church walls to touch the lives of students
in our communities? How can we reach out and make a better connection
with area schools? How can we empower students to influence their
friends and spread their faith? The answers to these questions are
critical for us if we are to truly help our students reach their
generation for Christ and do great things in this world. And these are
the questions our Campus Ministry Team has been wrestling with for
At IYC2014 in Nashville, we will unveil a project called Campus Impact!
Church of God student ministries will be given the opportunity to begin
an exciting journey. What will the results be? Youth pastors and
volunteer leaders will be empowered with effective resources. Students
will be equipped and motivated to make a difference. And together we
will catch a vision to be a generation that has an impact on this world!
Wait for it—July 2014!
Spitters is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First
Church of God in St. Joseph Michigan. He can be reached at
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Empowering Students to Reach Their Campus
As youth leaders, it is critical that we understand the importance of
empowering students not only to lead but to serve as missionaries on
their school campuses. When our students realize that they are not
students who are Christians but rather Christians who are students, it
helps them to comprehend the awesome opportunity that awaits them on
their school campuses.
Rachel is a student in our ministry who realized this and knew that
there were many students in her school who needed a relationship with
Jesus. She felt a call from God to reach out to students on her public
school campus. She set out, not to change the whole campus, but to reach
out to individuals through conversations and relationships.
In the past year, Rachel has invited nearly thirty students to our youth
ministry. So far, three of those students have accepted her invitation
and have started attending. While three out of thirty may not sound good
statistically (only 10%), for the three who have accepted the invitation
and have come to experience Christ, their lives have changed
Rachel admits that at times it was tough to be obedient to what God had
called her to do. The fear of rejection is something that was constantly
in the back of her mind, but she understood that what God had called her
to was worth the risk of being rejected by her peers.
Rachel is just one student. Imagine the impact our students would have
if each one took the approach of being a missionary on their school
campus. If ten students had the results that Rachel has had, that would
be three hundred invited, but more importantly, that would be thirty
whose lives have been transformed by the gospel.
Are you empowering your students to lead? Consider commissioning your
students and releasing them as missionaries to their schools. Check out
our 360 evangelism tools to help your students make a difference on
their campus; tools are available at
Rentas is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First
Church of God in Vero Beach, Florida. He can be reached at
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