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reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? - PART 1

Have you ever wondered why churches have student ministries? Why they are only a relatively recent trend? Why the increase in funding and attention does not necessarily equate to a burgeoning, enduring impact on the lives of our students? I just finished an outstanding book that is informative, encouraging, and yet challenging. reTHINK: Decide for yourself, is student ministry working? by Steve Wright with Chris Graves is written to critically evaluate the Student Ministry model that has emerged over the past 50 years and compare it with what Scripture teaches regarding the disciple-making of teenagers. The authors speak so clearly and in such a convicting manner that I'm going to directly share some of the quotes/portions of the book that stuck out for me in a series of posts. Here it goes....
  • There is clearly a problem in Student Ministries across the world as seen through four “gauges”: 1) student retention rates, 2) student baptism rates 3)student pastor tenures & 4) student Bible literacy (17)
  • “The solution isn’t to kick the traditional student ministry up a notch; the solution is to reexamine how the Bible should guide our framework to develop students and encourage the parents and adults who influence them” (30)
  • “Parent ministry needs to be thought through as thoroughly as student ministry “ (51)
  • One study showed that students looking for (in order) opportunities to serve, deep conversations, missions trips, accountability, and more time in worship with “a desire for more games” coming in last (54)
  • Another study showed "the most common reason students gave for attending church was ‘to better understand what I believe.’” (54)
The author, Steve Wright, has written many other works available through InQuest Ministries and maintains a Blog, Lasting Divergence, "to encourage parents and churches to partner together as they present the whole counsel of God to children (Acts 20:27)" More helpful excerpts tomorrow...

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