Who do you want your students to be when they leave your ministry? How do you want your students to influence others after they graduate from middle school or from high school? When we begin with the end in mind, it informs what our strategy should be right now. It informs how we should be guiding and developing our teenagers today.
When it comes to developing students that influence their own generation, we all probably have room to improve. And for many of us the area to improve is clarity. For instance, on one hand we tend to tell students to be careful who they hang out with, stay away from bad influences, and keep close to home because it’s not safe downtown. On the other hand we tell students to reach out to the unbeliever, influence those that are far from God, and serve the less fortunate. In the mind of a student, these are two very different directions. So how do we clearly balance these two ideas in our ministry? How do we clearly communicate to our students that it’s not one or the other, it’s both?
Stuart Hall, a student ministry veteran, recently spoke into this idea during an Orange Conference breakout. In his talk Stuart gives leaders a strategy to develop students of influence. When we have the right strategy, it sets up students to be influencers for Christ not only while they’re in your ministry, but also after they graduate. Get out a pen and paper – you’re going to want to take notes.