I am a student minister NOT defined by my student ministry.

Have you met that person?  You know the person I am talking about.  The person that walks up to you and asks, “how’s ministry going,” so that they can size up your ministry against theirs.  They want to know if they are beating you, as if this is a game with winners and losers.  They ask those great student ministry questions like, “How many did you have this week” or “How many ‘community students’ did you have last night.”

These are the people that are defined by their ministries.  Which means when ministry is going well(i.e. lots of people show up) they are in a good mood, but when ministry is not going well(i.e. few show up) they are in a bad mood.  Honestly I fall prey to this sometimes.  For instance last week we had very small number of students compared to most weeks and I had to fight the urge to not take it personally. 

So here is what I propose, that we change everything, we change the questions, the motivation behind the questions, and the competition mentality.  I want someone to stop asking me, “how many came” and start asking me, “hey have any of your students just gotten ‘it'(their relationship with God lately” or “have any of your students made a decision lately that let you know they were thinking critically about their faith.”  These are the important questions anyway aren’t they.

I also want the person who asks me those questions to genuinely care about my student ministry, so I can do the same for theirs and we can share ideas.  Because ultimately we are not on different teams but the same team.  I would assume that most of you are like me in the fact that if all the students in town showed up at my ministry I would have no idea what to do, so I should be thankful that I have teammates. 

Paul writes in Ephesians 6 that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, so that means no person is my enemy.  So lets start acting like we are on the same team


3 thoughts on “I am a student minister NOT defined by my student ministry.

  1. great thoughts. I agree with the desire/need to not be defined by “numbers”. A business person’s worth should not be based on how many sales they make and neither should youth ministers.

  2. Mike,
    Your thought about the business person made me think, about those that find their worth in accomplishments or position. Those people are never satisfied, because they must keep working for more accomplishments to keep their “worth tank” full. What an endless circle filled with no joy.

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