A missional youth ministry highly values understanding (contextualization) and serving the local community. In the youth ministry world, school campuses is where our students spend most of their time. Having Jesus at the school campus, would only make logical and missional sense. In my last post Youth Ministry In Culture, I argued one of the key components of transforming culture is serving the good of the local schools.
Traditionally churches and schools have a bad relationship. In our culture, churches don’t have an instant street cred. Let me say it another way: people don’t give a rats butt that you are from a church. Unfortunately churches have a credibility problem.
Youth pastors enjoy….
– spending a lot of time at school campuses.
– being outward focused.
– taking their youth ministry outside of the church walls.
– going on “their” turf.
There is a right and wrong way to serve the good of the school for Jesus.
– forcefully protesting and filing lawsuits against non-Christian curriculum (i.e. sex education, evolution, and religion history)
– serve with attachments
– demand instant respect and credibility
– expect that prayer is welcome
– talk trash about atheistic teachers–especially science teachers
– serve without conditions
– offer free tutoring sessions
– take prayer walks around campus
– pick up trash around school campus
– become a substitute teacher
– attend school board meetings
– serve breakfast (doughnuts) outside of the school before it starts
– donate $$ to school relate activities
– if school has open lunch (students get to leave campus) host a lunch @ church
– offer to chaperon after school activities/dances
– attempt to coach a sport/activity
– respect school’s boundaries and laws such as preaching to students, passing out tracts, etc.
– allow church building to be a resource for the school
– schedule intentional meetings with school counselors, principal, and teachers asking the question how your organization can help without getting in the way
– set up a “Christian Club” on campus
1. How involved is your youth ministry at the school?
2. Does your local school think your church is annoying or accepting?
3. How many Christians (teachers, students, and other staff) are at the school?
4. Do your local schools need to see more Jesus?
Don’t forget it is not against the law to be praying people serving the good of the school