Trends or Transformations

How Can I Reach My Students?

Many times I have heard students say they scroll through social media for hours at a time. Because if you don’t scroll, do you really know? Scrolling through social media is fine if it helps keep us up to date on what is happening in the world. Students may use social media to get the latest trend, but what about their transformation?  More and more, students are being influenced by so many other things rather than the church. We only have a small window of time to help influence what they put in and out of their brains. During that hour or so of youth activities & studies, we can help transform them with the Word of God. 
USE THE WORD, not just words. Often times, we hear students talk about their world: school, home, and hobbies. We have a great opportunity to go alongside those things and use the Word to shape them.  Jesus used water to walk alongside the Samaritan woman at the well. He connected with her about water and then used it to move to spiritual things. On a similar level, we can use a student’s world to come alongside them too. For example, if a student is in the band and plays an instrument, verses about David playing his harp for the Lord would be a great starter conversation. David was using it for the Lord and the student can be encouraged not only playing for people but for the Lord too.
APPLY THE WORD, not more bandages.  In Youth Ministry, it is easy to see a student with a problem and want to fix it for them. Especially if it is something we have done before, we can encourage students to do what we did. Not that this is a bad idea, but why not apply the Word to their life instead of using a bandage to try and fix it. If we don’t use truth from the Word, it may just be our opinion. So, if a student is struggling with forgiveness, instead of saying ‘yes, I have been there, done that. It’s hard so just give it to God’, we should be giving them the Word to fall back on. Bandages will make a wound look like it is fixed, but until it has the proper salve or ointment, it will not heal. The same is true in our lives. We can say we forgive but until we apply Scripture, it does not always stick or mean anything.
LIVE THE WORD, not the world. Students want to see real and genuine. As students mature, they continue to build trust and see how the world is and who can be trusted. Most times, students will look up to sports figures or musicians because they have something in common with them, sports or music. As we pour into student’s lives, we can help influence them and with that comes responsibility. We are not only living up to what the Bible says but now we have students watching our every move. If we are living according to the Word and not the world, it should be a piece of cake. But we are all broken people, so we must have some kind of accountability with others to encourage us in Scripture and living holy.

Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 3:14-16, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.  So, keep doing what you are doing for students. You are making a difference and you are reaching them for Jesus. Thankfully, the Word is not just a trend, but transforming them every day.