For your students, the start of the school year often carries the hope of new beginnings. Whether it’s their first day of middle school or high school, the first day of their senior year, their first day at a new school, or simply the first day of a new year, it brings the possibility of a fresh start. What would it look like if you and your students went into this school year with a renewed sense of purpose and mission? What might happen on their school campuses if they viewed them more as a mission field to be explored and less of a mine field to be navigated?
As this school year begins, here are five practical ways to lead your students in leading the way to reach every teenager at their middle schools and high schools with the love and truth of Christ.
1. Start a Cause Crew on each campus your students attend. A Cause Crew is a group of believing friends from your youth group or other churches who hold each other accountable to pray for, care for, and share the Gospel with their peers. Have your youth group start a Cause Crew on each campus where at least one of your students attends. Have older students include younger students as a way to disciple them and ensure that this process gets repeated year after year. If you have campuses with only one youth group kid on them, encourage that student to recruit believing students from other churches.
2. Leverage See You at the Pole to start a prayer movement, not just a stand-alone, annual prayer experience. Encourage your students to meet weekly on their campus to pray for their school, their friends, and the community. Have them identify a day, time, and place—whether it’s Wednesday mornings at the flag pole, Monday afternoons in the school lobby, Thursday during lunch in the cafeteria—for this weekly prayer gathering to take place.
3. Participate in Go Share Day on the last Saturday of every month. This is an easily customizable, monthly outreach experience in which students around the world simply go out into their communities to share the Gospel. Consistent participation will make evangelism a regular rhythm on your youth ministry calendar. Take your students to places where their peers are likely to be, such as malls, parks, or even online platforms like Discord or Instagram.
4. Use each school’s yearbook as a prayer guide. Have the teens in your youth group pray for every student, by name, and repeat this discipline as many times as possible throughout the school year.
5. Include other youth groups in your city or community to lead the way with you. We are better together and can accomplish much more for the Kingdom of God if we lock arms with other youth ministries to do this.
Pray over these ideas with your students. Figure out which one to implement first, then second, and so on, all the way through the list. Have your students come up with additional ideas they can try during the school year to keep the mission of God a priority for your ministry and the Gospel message front and center on their campuses.