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Lead 1-4

Meeting and Relating to Students

Meeting students is going where students are, and taking the initiative to get to know them. Relating to students is initiating and interacting with students in a manner that enables you to get to know them and build rapport.

Biblical Basis

"We loved you so much we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Consider the woman at the well. Jesus meets and befriends a Samaritan woman, addresses her need, and explains salvation to her. She is so changed by Jesus that she brings the whole town out to meet Him.

As you think back over your life, who has had the most influence on you for the good? Below, describe your relationship with that person.

The Process

1. Know your purpose.

Your purpose is to share Christ and disciple those who respond. At the same time, your audience is made up of very relational people who live in a relational world. You will gain in credibility and platform to communicate your message as you relate well in the student world. It requires that you build as wide a circle of acquaintances as you can. You will have the opportunity to share the gospel with most of those acquaintances as time goes on.

2. Be yourself.

3. Be an insider – someone who gets to know the student culture and world.

An insider is someone who adjusts their conversations to the student’s interests rather than just their own; fitting in with them, not asking them to fit in with you.

4. Be casual but definite.

To be casual means that it is important to be relaxed and be yourself as you work among students. Enjoy yourself and enjoy them. To be definite means that your objective is to help that student spiritually. You do not just relate, but turn your conversations to his spiritual need. You are not there just to be a buddy, but a spiritual leader and mentor.

5. Prepare to Meet Students

  • Prepare to meet students by looking in the high school yearbook, getting activities calendars, sports schedules, school newspapers, etc. Become a student of the school.
  • Identify the various group affiliations of the students.
  • Rely on students you know to help meet others.
  • Pray daily for students, even though you don’t know them.
  • Learn the cultural norms of the school – i.e. what’s in, what’s not, how students think, etc.
  • Ask God to provide you with opportunities to meet students, and expect Him to lead you to students He has prepared.

A key to effectively reaching high school students is to be aware of their group orientation. When you meet a student, it’s important not only to get to know him but find out what social, athletic, academic, or other type of group he’s in. Movement develops more naturally when we reach and mobilize natural groups of students.

Plan and Begin Your Strategy

1. Meet students with breadth in mind.

The more students you meet, the greater opportunity you have for outreach. Look at your Mapping the Campus Worksheet to help you determine where you want to start meeting students. Ask your youth leader for help in developing your plan.

2. Go where students are.

Here are some typical places to meet students:

  • Campus activities
  • Athletic and school events
  • Church
  • On the street
  • Other students’ homes
  • Assisting at school: coaching, school clubs
  • Shopping malls
  • Eating establishments

3. While talking with students it is important to:

  • Be a good listener.
  • Show an attitude of acceptance.
  • Don’t be the one doing most of the talking.
  • Ask perceptive questions about them.
  • Look for areas of common interest.

4. Rely on students you know to help you meet others.

Ask them to help you meet some of their friends. Ask them to host or invite students to a pizza party, ice cream etc. Ask students to introduce you to their friends at school events.

5. Make prayer a priority.

Ask God to help you meet the students He wants you to meet.

6. Meet students who attend ministry events.

Talk with every new student you can at meetings and events.

7. Be creative.

Team meetings, classroom speaking, creative outreaches, pick up ball games, hanging out at kid’s homes, coaching, helping with music and drama productions, etc. – all are ways you can meet students. Much of your ministry depends upon your willingness to be available and friendly, always meeting new students.

Application

  • List the students you know.
  • List some places and ways you can get to know more students, particularly through students you already know
  • With your youth leader, develop a strategy to target some students you want to get to know.
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