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Thank God We Took Our Youth Seriously

Photo of Kerry CoxKerry Cox | Bio

Kerry Cox

Kerry has been doing ministry since he was 18, all the way back in 1996. In 2004 he and 30 others planted a church in Wentzville, MO. The Crossings Church has grown to be a very young, diverse, and unchurched group of disciples committed to making disciples. The Crossings has since planted two other churches with a fourth plant going out in 2020. He has been married to Hannah for 20 years and they have 3 kiddos who are all actively engaged in College, High School, and Children’s ministries!

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.

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 Disciple In Youth Ministry)
6. RJ (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
7. Ashlee (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
8. Craig (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
9. Chaunta (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
10. Dave (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
11. Jason (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
12. Marci (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
13. Travis (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
14. Tom (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
15. Janice (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
16. Linda
17. Chris (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
18. Sara (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
19. Jenny (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
20. Brett
21. Jennifer
22. Elena (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
23. John (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
24. Charlie (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
25. Kerry (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
26. Hannah (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
27. Matt (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
28. Ryan (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
29. Maria (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
30. Jim
31. Leighanna
32. Fran (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
33. Chris (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)

2014 Church Plant:

1. Abby (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
2. Gabby (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
3. Fernando (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
4. Mary
5. Jess (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
6. Max (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
7. Meg (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
8. Nisreen (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
9. Corbin (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
10. Christine (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
11. Jimmie (Became Disciple In High School Ministry)
12. Nathan
13. Maddie (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
14. Ben
15. Giang (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
16. Maria (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
17. TC (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
18. Kalyan (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
19. Becca (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
20. Marcus (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
21. Chantel (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
22. Stefan (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
23. Julie (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
24. Jessica (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
25. Boston (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
26. Whitney (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
27. Matt (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
28. Shannon (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)

2017 Church Plant:

1. Aaliyah (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
2. Aiyana (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
3. Caty (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
4. Christy (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
5. Cory (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
6. David (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
7. Devin (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
8. Holly (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
9. Jacob (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
10. Jaytonne (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
11. Koty (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
12. Lindsey (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
13. Maggie (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
14. Max (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
15. Reggie (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
16. Rosie (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
17. Tyler (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
18. Wes (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
19. Airiel (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
20. Jina

2020 Church Plant:

1. Macky (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
2. Danielle (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
3. Brett (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
4. Ashlin (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
5. Fernando (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
6. Kaitlyn (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
7. Mike (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
8. Sabrina (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
9. Holly (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
10. Jacob (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
11. D’Mitri (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
12. Anthony (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
13. Ben (Became Disciple In High School Ministry)
14. Alex (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
15. Michelle
16. Whitney
17. Kyle (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
18. Coreen (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
19. Jessica (Became Disciple In Campus Ministry)
20. Shane (Became Disciple In Youth Ministry)
21. JJ (Became Disciple 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!