YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Your first calling in ministry to students is to be growing in love and intimacy with Jesus Christ.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4,5
Look at Paul’s style of ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2:8,10:
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless we were among you who believed.”
Notice the goal of Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 1:5.
“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
If you believe God’s Word and love students in this way, it might motivate you to:
- Share the gospel with them because you don’t want them to spend eternity in hell.
- Confront them in love with the truth in difficult areas because you care for them.
- Teach and lead Bible study so that they can grow to know Christ more fully.
- Pray that God would work in their lives.
- Spend time encouraging them and showing genuine interest in their lives.
- Love them even when they don’t respond with love.
In loving students, it is important to remember that this love is not a friendship kind of love based on liking the student or the student liking you. It is God’s kind of unconditional love, the very servant-love Christ demonstrated for us as He went to the cross. We are to love students the way Christ loves us.
One of the most important things you can do as a loving leader of high school students is to be yourself. Being able to relax in who God made you, as a new creation in Christ will open the door to students feeling they can enjoy relating to you.
Remember, if God has called you to work with students, He has already given you talents, experiences and abilities that will meet the specific needs of the students with whom you will be working. God will use all things in your life – your weaknesses, strengths, fears, experiences but especially your love for students.
Our adequacy is from God who has made us adequate as servants of His. Be yourself, but don’t let the focus of your relationship with students be on you. Focus on them.
- What “next steps” do you need to take in your relationship with God:
- Ask a good friend for some advice about how you relate with students?
- Are you too tough on them?
- Are you a push-over who has trouble with biblical leadership in someone else’s life?
- Do you communicate to students that you only care about them if they do what you expect them to do?
- Do you want kids to like you so much that you act like they do rather than being the biblical leader God has placed in their lives?