Mission Minded Student Ministry

Why is it important to establish a mission minded culture in your student ministry? I have thought about this question a lot as a student minister. When I was in student ministry, our student minister took us on numerous mission trips. It helped open my eyes to the lostness of the world and the need for us to tell others about our Lord and Savior not just while we were on a short-term mission trip but also in our everyday lives. However, cultivating a mission minded student ministry isn’t just about going on short-term mission trips. It is giving your students tangible tools to see the lostness around them and throughout the world. For instance, every Wednesday night we have a time of prayer for a specific country and give prayer points for each country. This helps us each week to be able to talk to our students about the importance of prayer and the desperate need for the gospel to be proclaimed. 

As I mentioned earlier, I am a big supporter of taking your student ministry on short-term mission trips. We have a mission trip for our middle school and high school each year. Having a trip each year has done a few things for our student ministry. The first is that sometimes in our life we can put blinders on and get so focused on our own schedule at home and our own to-do list that we lose sight of what is most important as followers of Christ and that is sharing the love of Jesus with others. So taking students out of their normal context and putting them in positions where they can share the gospel every day for five or six days helps them realize they can be doing this at home as well, not just while they are on a mission trip. The second is it may help some of our students realize what the Lord wants them to do with their life. Is it full time mission work? Is it a specific career path that will open doors for them to share the gospel? Is it being willing to give a year or two before or after college to take the gospel to the nations?  Whatever it is, I have seen short-term missions work impact the lives of my students each time we go on a trip, but it doesn’t stop after the trip is over. We as student pastors need to equip our students to be confident enough to share their faith at the school they go to every day. 

My hope and prayer for my ministry and yours is that we as student ministers give our students as many opportunities as possible to see the need to live out Matthew 28 in our lives and our students’ lives. The more people we can take on mission the better and if we start them at a young age, they are more likely to do it when they get older as well and take others with them. Be bold in living out what God has called us to do. Disciple your students and stretch them by taking them out of their comfort zones and open their eyes to the joy of telling others about our great Savior. Don’t just sit back and teach on Wednesdays and Sundays. We all need to be doing what we are teaching and putting into action what we are telling our students each week. So I urge you to take your students on mission in your community and throughout this world. You will be amazed at what the Lord will do! 

Author: Ford Rigney is the Student Discipleship Minister at Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Ridgeland, MS.