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Thank God We Took Our Youth Seriously

The majority of churches in the United States have more gray hair, walkers, and oxygen tanks than young people. Churches are dying and closing their doors daily. Many churches are doing little to nothing to ensure that young people know Christ and become committed to his mission of making disciples.

Unless we choose to have a focused effort to reach the next generations, our churches will continue to fade away.

I was fortunate to be raised in a church that was serious about making disciples, even young ones. When I entered Middle School, the church launched a Junior High Ministry. There were only three students, but our leaders made it clear we had a great purpose and we should be making disciples.

The ministry began to grow.

As junior highers, we reproduced disciples and soon there were around ten to fifteen of us headed into high school. Due to the growth, we launched a high school ministry in 1992. We went to school with a fire and passion for seeing students become students of Jesus.

Over the course of 4 years, we saw the ministry grow from a handful of students to over 50 disciples of Jesus.

In January of 1996, I began serving in College Ministry as a student. By March of that same year, I was was the College Minister. I was young, inexperienced, and naive but also excited to see college students find a relationship with God. I wanted students to understand what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus and how to make disciples for Jesus. God began to work and the ministry, which had less than ten students, grew and disciples were made. By the time our church plant would go out, just a few years later, there were more than 75 disciples in the Campus Ministry.

In 2004, we planted our first church. We had learned something significant that allowed us not only to plant one church, but four, with many more to come. This is where it gets good and you should begin to see why we must focus on student ministry.

If we are going to have Disciple Making Movements in the United States, we need our students!

Look at the lists below. I think you will see a recurring theme…

2004 Church Plant:

1. Robert
2. Norita
3. Tim
4. Christian
5. Anna (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
6. RJ (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
7. Ashlee (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
8. Craig (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
9. Chaunta (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
10. Dave (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
11. Jason (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
12. Marci (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
13. Travis (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
14. Tom (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
15. Janice (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
16. Linda
17. Chris (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
18. Sara (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
19. Jenny (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
20. Brett
21. Jennifer
22. Elena (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
23. John (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
24. Charlie (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
25. Kerry (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
26. Hannah (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
27. Matt (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
28. Ryan (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
29. Maria (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
30. Jim
31. Leighanna
32. Fran (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
33. Chris (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)

2014 Church Plant:

1. Abby (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
2. Gabby (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
3. Fernando (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
4. Mary
5. Jess (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
6. Max (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
7. Meg (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
8. Nisreen (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
9. Corbin (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
10. Christine (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
11. Jimmie (became a disciple of Jesus in high school ministry)
12. Nathan
13. Maddie (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
14. Ben
15. Giang (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
16. Maria (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
17. TC (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
18. Kalyan (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
19. Becca (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
20. Marcus (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
21. Chantel (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
22. Stefan (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
23. Julie (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
24. Jessica (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
25. Boston (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
26. Whitney (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
27. Matt (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
28. Shannon (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)

2017 Church Plant:

1. Aaliyah (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
2. Aiyana (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
3. Caty (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
4. Christy (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
5. Cory (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
6. David (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
7. Devin (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
8. Holly (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
9. Jacob (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
10. Jaytonne (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
11. Koty (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
12. Lindsey (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
13. Maggie (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
14. Max (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
15. Reggie (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
16. Rosie (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
17. Tyler (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
18. Wes (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
19. Airiel (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
20. Jina

2020 Church Plant:

1. Macky (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
2. Danielle (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
3. Brett (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
4. Ashlin (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
5. Fernando (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
6. Kaitlyn (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
7. Mike (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
8. Sabrina (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
9. Holly (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
10. Jacob (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
11. D’Mitri (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
12. Anthony (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
13. Ben (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
14. Alex (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
15. Michelle
16. Whitney
17. Kyle (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
18. Coreen (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
19. Jessica (became a disciple of Jesus in campus ministry)
20. Shane (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)
21. JJ (became a disciple of Jesus in youth ministry)

There are 102 people in these lists who were sent on church plants. Of these, 87 of the 102 became disciples of Jesus in student ministries! That is 85%! Another 5 were reached directly by college students!

That means 90% of the people who went out on church plants were either won in Student Ministries or as a direct result of those ministries!

If we are going to have Disciple Making Movements in the United States, we need our students! If we want to be churches who plant churches, student ministries will need to come to the forefront of our focus. Keep watching for more articles on student ministry and how it can help us fulfill God’s desire to make disciples of all nations!

If we want to be churches who plant churches, student ministries will need to come to the forefront of our focus.

Get Renew.org Weekly Emails

Want fresh teachings and disciple making content? Sign up to receive a weekly newsletters highlighting our resources and new content to help equip you in your disciple making journey. We’ll also send you emails with other equipping resources from time to time.

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