Last summer, Arkansan youth pastor Mickael Quillman, or Pastor Quill as most people know him, found himself with a plateauing youth ministry. No new teens were coming through his doors to hear the gospel and he knew something had to change.
“You kind of get stuck in a rut,” Pastor Quill said. “You do a game, sing four songs, get up and preach, say a prayer, remind the kids to share their faith, and you go home.”
This is a common and constant battle for anyone in ministry—especially youth ministry. Many youth pastors start out strong, wanting to make a lasting impact for God’s Kingdom. But when busyness and a few hard knocks set in, the big dreams and expectations begin getting smaller and smaller until the vision they started with seems like a distant memory.
This Youth Leader’s Next Step
So what was Pastor Quill’s next step? How could he refocus the culture of his ministry and use weekly activities to help his students bring their friends to Christ?
He decided to take a group of students to Lead THE Cause 2016 to help them learn to share their faith, thinking, “If each one of them were to go back [home] and just reach one of their friends—that’s kind of what I was expecting—maybe ten or twelve students [will be] reached through this.”
But at the event, Pastor Quill soon found that his vision was way too small, saying, ”Greg [Stier] came in and challenged us: ‘What is your bold vision?'”
“So we set our vision that we’re going to take these 12 students,” he remembered, ”And if each one of them starts a gospel conversation with just one person a week for the next 22 weeks, we can reach 264 students.”
But Pastor Quill didn’t stop at just 264 gospel conversations in one semester. “If we only keep 30% of those [students], then we turn them around and teach them how to disciple… and we do that for the entire school year, we’re looking at about 3,700 conversations.”
An Opportunity for Students to Grow Their Faith
Lead THE Cause is a huge opportunity for students to grow in their faith and learn how to share the gospel, but as Pastor Quill found out, it’s not just an event for the teenagers. As a youth pastor, he came away with inspiration, motivation, and a game plan to set a bold vision and turn his own ministry into a gospel-advancing powerhouse.
“Sitting back before I came saying that I’m going to reach 3,800 students next year, I would’ve laughed. I would’ve said ‘there’s no way possible,'” he said. “But looking at this, we almost sat back and said, ‘That’s easy, maybe that vision isn’t big enough. Maybe we can reach more than 3,000 plus students.'”
Today, you might be the youth pastor evaluating your youth ministry and wondering what to do next. Maybe your vision for what God can do through your students has dwindled over the years and needs some refocusing. But as Pastor Quill learned from his LTC experience, a shift in perspective can empower your students and ministry to win souls for Christ everyday.
Watch Pastor Quill tell his story:
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