You Are MADE for DISCIPLESHIP
Purpose #3: DISCIPLESHIP
I love to read through the narratives of Jesus' journey's, how he chose to teach and do life with his followers. Jesus welcomed people to follow him, know him and then turn around and share him. This is the picture of discipleship, growing to be like Jesus. Jesus gives us a clear picture of what it looks like for us to surround our lives to him as we become his followers. We are to learn from him, know him, and tell others about him. He demonstrated this practice in how to called, loved, and send he's disciples.
This was part 5 our teaching series called MADE, given to our students at Hickory Student Ministry.
Download the devotions and hand-outs below.
You Are MADE for FELLOWSHIP
Purpose #2: FELLOWSHIP
Have you ever heard someone say at church, "Be sure to join us after the service for fellowship,"? Basically, the person is inviting us to stay after the service to enjoy some donuts and conversation. In the church we associate fellowship with people mingling around chatting, either before or after the service. Or maybe we host a potluck and invite families to come and eat and enjoy fellowship. In this part of the series we discover that fellowship is more than donuts and dinners. It's how we live in community as we experience life together.
This was part 4 our teaching series called MADE, given to our students at Hickory Student Ministry.
Download the devotions and hand-outs below.
You Are MADE to WORSHIP
Purpose #1: WORSHIP
This week our series leads us into a discussion about worship.
Beyond what we might do on a Sunday morning or at a church service, worship is how we live;
putting God first, living for Him, and obeying Him.
This was part 3 our teaching series called MADE, given to our students at Hickory Student Ministry.
Download the devotions and hand-outs below.
You Are MADE with a PURPOSE
Introduction part 1 & 2
In this first part, we begin to introduce the idea that God has something better for us; a plan, a purpose, a reason for why we exist.
And, if we follow this plan and seek out His purpose, our lives would be radically changed. In part two, we continue with our introduction as we share the five purposes of WORSHIP, MINISTRY, EVANGELISM, FELLOWSHIP, and DISCIPLESHIP. We only take quick look at each purpose knowing that we are going to come back and dig a little deeper into each one.
This was part 1&2 of our teaching series called MADE, given to our students at Hickory Student Ministry.
Download devotions and hand-outs below.
This year I have started posting the weekly announcements for our student ministry on our HSM YouTube channel. Creating short videos as a way to remind parents and students of upcoming activities we something that I have used in the past. I brought it back this year as a fun way to communicate some of the ministry events and activities with our students and their parents. Here is this weeks announcements for our student ministry!
Visit our student ministry YouTube channel and see how I'm using media and YouTube to stay connected to
our students and their parents, while also getting out ministry out to our church and our community!
This week, the YS Blog posted a great, short read from DAN ISTVANIK, reminding youth workers the importance of recognizing the difference between programs and ministry. It's a timely and important reminder because for most of us, as programs are a big part of what we do. As a way to further the youth ministry conversation, I wanted to both applaud and thank Dan for his article, and his boldness to be transparent and encouraging.
Like Dan, as a veteran youth worker, I too need to constantly remember that what I do is vastly more than what my job title suggests. My position is, the DIRECTOR of YOUTH MINISTRY. While ministry is in the title and the description, there is still a sense that as a director, I am responsible for creating programs that are both attractive and entertaining. It's like I'm some kind of cruise ship director; calling out this months hayride and bonfire event on the gaming deck which will be followed by our missions dinner fund raiser in the main dining hall next weekend.
Currently we are in a season of programatic activities that happen every year. There is a lot of good in what we do. There is potential for great ministry. But at the heart of these events is the overwhelming issue of programming and making sure that these programs happen. Even in my student ministry, I have to force myself and others to consider why we do some of what we do. AS I look at the calendar and plan ahead, I have to stop and ask, what's the purpose for this or that.
It's a dangerous trap. There is a certain level of programming needs, but a great need to be thinking ministry as we consider our roles as disciplers. I often wrestle with how the calendar fits the ministry I've trying to achieve. What I want to do with my students in the way of speaking life into their hearts is over shadowed by the activities and the events that are often the expectation of parents and church leaders. Where I might be okay with having a spiritual and deeply impactful conversation with one or students students, the church leadership might question the effectiveness of my ministry when the numbers are lower than what they were 5 or 10 years ago.
In Dan's post, he lays out an easy way to remember what it is we are called to be for a students. I would say, yes, there are the programs and elements of programs that we must oversee. But I agree with Dan in that programs, while they may support our ministry, we must "make sure to be careful not trade program for ministry."
Take a moment and read Dan's post on the Youth Specialties blog.
Programs vs Ministry. There is a balance; a healthy middle ground. And while I am okay walking the middle ground, my heart leans towards the ministry. Discipling a students heart to know and live for Christ is a special experience. It's honestly why I continue to serve students.
While I love Dan's list of reminders, I wonder...
I'd love to read your thoughts and comments.
Dan Istvanik, we haven't met, but thank you so much for your post. I a busy season of "programming," you have reminded me to slow down and see that at the heart of what I do, there is a student who needs to know the grace of a loving God.
As we step into October, I started thinking about games for our student ministry that had a little bit of a "fall" or "halloween" theme. I also wanted something little more original then the same old games I've played in recent years. So off to the local dollar store to roam the isles looking for ideas.
If you haven't discovered the benefits of stores like, the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Five Below, or the 99¢ Store (and others like them), you really need to make them part of your ministry planning. These stores offer all sorts of odd and unique products at lower prices tags. Frankly, you never know what you might find on one of their shelves.
I already had the idea for a game. I wanted to have some kind of candy toss. I knew I needed a bowl for candy, a bag of halloween candy, and something to catch the candy with. Fortunately, our local Dollar General was well stocked with halloween supplies and decorations.
Here's the game.
You'll need the item above, plus a chair and some tape to mark the throwing line.
The goal is to toss and catch as many pieces of candy in the basket as possible, before time runs out. Mark on the floor the throwing line with tape. I always use blue painters tape because it's easy to pull back up. About 8 to 10 feet away from the throwing line set up your chair. The student who wears the basket will sit on the chair to catch the candy. On "GO", the student throwing begins tossing the candy, one piece, at a time towards the student catching. The student catching must try to catch the candy without moving the chair or leaving the chair. I gave each pair 60 seconds.
Here's how I played the game with our students!
Halloween Candy Toss. Simple. Easy. Fun. A perfect ice breaker or upfront game to use with your students this halloween season.
I'd love to hear from you! Did you try Halloween Candy Toss? How did it go? Any ideas that made it better?
Share your comments below!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.