The Campus Player/Coach
Consider the daily dilemmas of the player/coach - a sports phenomenon.
Should I go into the game and take over? Or do I let the others play? Am I really better at that skill or just more experienced? Should I substitute myself for the younger untested rookie?
Youth workers have an awful lot in common with this rare but exciting role. Or should have. For many of us today it is far too easy to watch from the sidelines as students move onto the field. Others get a thrill only out of managing the action from the dugout or even from the press box.
Today's paradigm shift - as students take the lead in ministry can create a sense of confusion in the ranks. Is the primary role of the paid and volunteer youth worker to equip students for evangelism among their peers. Or should we be out there reaching teenagers for Christ ourselves? The answer is ... yes. The excitement of introducing a teenager to Christ ourselves is only exceeded by the joy of seeing a student we have coached lead their peer to the Lord.
But even if most of our students were leading others to Christ, the harvest field is so large and ripe that it will take all of us, adult youth workers and students, to join in and do our part. We coach students, but we also join them. Some will only catch on by watching us up close as we play alongside them on the field. Campus Focus As God moves students into vital roles of leadership and ministry on their campuses, He may also want us to rethink how and why and where we minister. Acknowledging that students spend 35 or more hours on their campus each week, many fruitful youth workers are dedicating more of their time to be on, around, near or focused toward at least one school.
We can reflect our priorities by reorienting our own ministry budgets, calendars and staff to make an impact on an unreached student body. We must communicate to our senior leadership and authority structure to help them embrace the vision to reach the "10/20 window" - those between 10 and 20 years old. This generation is one of the most winnable, yet still unreached, people groups in the world.
Preparing students to have a ministry of their own comes in many forms throughout the year. Summer often provides students with their most uncluttered schedule to be challenged and trained in peer evangelism. Helping students gain a personal plan for outreach is vital as the school year begins. (see the Resource Guide on pages 43-51 for ideas from 1x1x56k Campus Starter Magazine)
See You at the Pole (SYATP) and After
How or what are they called to do next together?
Many excellent prayer strategies or campus game plans are available. With a critical mass gathered for SYATP and with well equipped student leaders in place, September is a great month to kick off a year-long ministry of prayer and evangelism on campus. (see pages 48-59 of the Resource Guide in 1x1x56k -The Starter Kit for Campus Ministry)
Every School Needs a Shepherd
City Networks that have organized to assign at least one local youth worker to each school report great results. More students are shepherded, student leaders know where to find help, prayer movements are stimulated and competition in the community breaks down.
School assembly speakers, evening youth meetings in a nearby home, onsite campus clubs, student-to-student evangelism strategies, outreach nights in a local church, use of surveys, videos which are shown at lunchtime ... God is working to bring students to Himself. How is He working in your area?