In this series, we’re exploring five specific keys to nurturing a faith-sharing focus in your youth ministry.
Last issue, we started with the very practical question: “What’s the first and most important thing I should do to nurture a faith-sharing focus in my youth ministry?” The answer was: Pray!
Of course, most of us realize that it’s essential that we make prayer a priority in our ministry efforts…You may remember that last time I walked through several concrete steps you could take to help you personally move in that direction. But it’s not just you that needs to make prayer a priority for the benefit of your youth ministry! It’s also essential that you get your adult and student leaders praying right alongside with you.
So I want to encourage you to gather your leadership team together and use the following practical, hands-on discussion guide on prayer as the focus of your time together, Use it to lay the groundwork for the launch of the new school year.
The Number One Thing
Group Discussion Guide
Many Christians spend little or no time praying because they don’t see the power that prayer has to impact things. So let’s take a closer look at a couple verses in Scripture that will help us explore the importance of prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Do you truly believe in the power of prayer and is it evident in how you pray?
- “Work as if it all depends on us, and pray as if it all depends on God.” What do you think of this statement? What might this look like in day-to-day life?
- What role do you think prayer has in seeing people come to know Christ?
- How should prayer affect our anxiety levels when it comes to taking risks and sharing our faith with others?
- Are you satisfied with how much time you spend praying?
- Are you modeling a commitment to prayer with those you are seeking to disciple?
- Share some ideas on how you can begin to put prayer as a top priority in your life and the first step in your efforts to make disciples who make disciples, (i.e., make a daily “appointment with God” and keep it, gather prayer requests from friends, start a prayer journal, study what the Bible says on prayer, meet regularly with others to pray).
- Spend time in serious prayer right now. Pray for each other, your friends, your school. Pray for a heart for the lost, and that you would see people with Jesus’ eyes. Ask God for creative ideas to help you reach out to others as you head into the new school year.
- Identify one step you can take to grow in this area during the next week. Then hold each other accountable by asking how it’s going.
- How can we make prayer a higher priority in our youth group?
If time and logistics allow, take your group to do a silent prayer walk around one or more of the school campuses represented in your youth ministry. Spend time praying for the unreached teenagers on the campus. If you can’t make this happen as a leadership team, then do it yourself separately.
In the next issue of energize, we’ll explore Key Number Two for nurturing a faith-sharing focus in your ministry, which will be centered on the old axiom that “more is caught than taught.”