There are 250,000 teenagers in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. Imagine what it would be like if all of those students were being prayed for! Teens For Christ is asking youth ministries all over the region to invite their students to pray for 3 friends from school who need to know Jesus. We have 5000 prayer cards (pictured above) and we'll send you however many you need for your group. Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the thing - we have our students for an hour or two a week, but they spend 40 or so hours surrounded by people who need Jesus at their schools. If we are going to do student ministry, we have to take their schools into account. Here's why -
1) If your students can live out their faith at school, they can probably live it anywhere!
It's really easy to live our faith at church when surrounded by other believers. Anyone can do that. They real test of a genuine faith is, are we are able to live it surrounded by people uninterested in our faith or even hostile to it? If your students are living their faith at school, you can bet it's real.
2) If your students can share their faith at school, they'll be able to share it anywhere
Similarly, if your students can share their faith at school (a mostly non-friendly environment), they can probably share it anywhere! Seeing school as a daily mission will prepare them for whatever situation they may find themselves in - mission trip, college, business, human services, government, entertainment, etc. Once they begin approaching daily life missionally, chances are good that they will likely continue to do so throughout their lives.
3) Your students need to know they are not alone!
We all know the saying - there's strength in numbers. If your students can know that they don't have to do all of this alone, so much the better. Having a church family to retreat and regroup with is life giving. But having godly friends that they can go out into battle with - that's life saving! Being involved in a campus ministry helps your students know they are not alone in the most difficult arena for living a life of faith.
4) You need to reach students where they are - almost 90% of Americans go to public schools
If you have any desire to reach lost students, you have to go where they are - the problem is, youth pastors can't go there. The only way to reach lost students where they spend the majority of their time is to equip our students to love and serve their friends in the name of Jesus. Your youth ministry is not just what happens within the four walls of your church - an effective youth ministry must include a mission field and that is exactly what public schools are.
5) If you impact the school, you impact the community.
When reaching schools is part of your ministry strategy you don't just reach students - you begin to touch the community. Go to a high school football game any Friday night in the fall or go to a spring musical - schools have become the centers of community life. You want to impact the community? Make a point to have an impact on local schools.
All of that to say, we hope that you'll challenge your students to pray for their friends at school. And we hope that'll lead to a great impact on their whole school, your church, and the community!