I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Bible Studies for Life: Students.
Student ministry leaders know there is a massive difference between a student knowing about Jesus and one who really knows Jesus. There is a big distinction between mentally ascribing to some thoughts about God and being in awe of Him. Jonathan Edwards wrote about the difference:
There is a difference between having an opinion that God is holy and gracious, and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace. There is a difference between having a rational judgment that honey is sweet, and having a sense of its sweetness. A man may have the former, that knows not how honey tastes; but a man can’t have the latter unless he has an idea of the taste of honey in his mind.
Student ministry must long for students to taste and see that the Lord is good—that He is better than all that the world offers. Jesus is greater than popularity, a spot on the team, a seat at the lunch table next to those friends, a scholarship offer, or a great report card.
So the question becomes “How can I help students taste and see that the Lord is good?” Here are four thoughts:
1. Prepare your heart.
Students can tell if those discipling them are being impacted by the message they are declaring. Students are looking for authentic leaders who really believe what they are articulating. The faith, with students, is often more caught than taught. So prepare your own heart.
2. Connect to real life.
Jesus communicated the gospel by talking about burying treasure in fields, planting crops, fishing, and building towers. He spoke to people in their context to show them the greatness of the gospel and the beauty of the kingdom. Students need to see how the message of Christ speaks to the brokenness of our culture, our friendships, our future, etc.
3. Discuss instead of lecturing.
Discussions are one of the greatest tools for discipleship. Discussions allow students to reveal their hearts and what they are struggling with, and they help us speak truth, wisdom, and encouragement into students’ lives at the places of their questions and struggles.
4. Apply and follow up.
Discipleship includes accountability. If leaders have prepared their hearts, connected the Word to real life, and spent time in discussion, the next critical step is to shepherd students to live out their faith.
To help student ministry leaders disciple students in this fashion, we offer Bible Studies for Life: Students. BSFL: Students is designed to connect God’s Word to students’ lives in an intentional way. It is built around showing students how God’s Word impacts their daily lives, equipping leaders to disciple students, creating opportunities for discussion, and shepherding students to live out their faith each week.
Click here, or register in the form below, before the end of the day today, March 16th, 2016, to win a quarter of Bible Studies for Life: Students Digital Bundle (Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide) for your entire student ministry.