the thursday thirty, issue fourteen.

i’ve served in the phenomenal youth ministry at my church since i began college, a little over two years ago. last night, the adult leaders at switch were treated to a special night with just one another at a gorgeous location out in the country. we sang together by candlelight in a barn (more glamorous than it sounds, people), took communion together, and talked about the visions we have for our students this year. continuing with this theme, here are 30 ways to connect with students in your ministry.

  • call or text them: this generation has their phones attached at the hip! reach them through the means they use the most.
  • post comments on their facebook
  • create identity: give your small group a special name, verse from Scripture, ect.
  • contact your students’ parents: this step is huge! gain the trust of your students’ parents and demonstrate your committment to their kids.
  • create excitement!
  • challenge them with the resources you send with them after group time: find time to communicate with them throughout the week about Scriptures and teachings from the experience.
  • food: students. love. to eat.
  • make your contact information available
  • lead by example: sounds simple, right? model for them what you want them to do for others.
  • connect outside of church
  • discuss relevant topics in small-group time
  • send them handwritten birthday cards
  • send praise letters for spiritual growth
  • serve together: help someone or an organization as a group.
  • attend their school functions when invited
  • eat lunch at school with your students if possible
  • call students by name: students love to hear their own name.
  • strike up continual conversations with every member of your group
  • find cliques in your group and connect with them: influence the influencers!
  • encourage their talents
  • care for your students equally
  • send flowers or something special during a time of tragedy
  • bring gum or candy to share with your students
  • acknowledge positive physical change: comment on a student’s new haircut, their cute shoes, ect.
  • apologize when you mess up: transparency begins with us.
  • discreetly meet a student’s need when you recognize one
  • play games together
  • don’t feel bound by small-group questions: these are excellent guides, but be sensitive to where students want to take discussion as well.
  • educate yourself to answer questions: your students are going to have questions about the bible, faith, and life in general. be biblically literate, and point students to others who can answer questions with which you need help.
  • pray together


Filed under switch, thursday thirty

2 responses to “the thursday thirty, issue fourteen.

  1. Love this. You’re a rock star, Taylor. Have you done all of these?

    I love this simple one: “call students by name.”

    • i’ve never gotten to have lunch at my girls’ school or attend their functions, since i live an hour away from the church/their town. :-/ but the rest of these have been such an integral part of my small group coming together and being a cohesive unit. student ministry is messy and sometimes scary, but it’s never dull. :)

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