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What I Believe about Student Ministry

Since January, I’ve been leading the team that leads our Student Ministry at Trinity.  It’s been a time of discovery for myself, and I’m sure the team that leads them would say the same thing about me.  I’m a guy that has worked in Children’s Ministry for a while, but I have done my share of Youth Ministry over the years.  I believe my Youth Ministry experience has  definitely  colored the way I’ve led our Kidmin areas over the years, and it’s because I have a passion for reaching students in such a pivotal time of their lives.

I’d like to share the core values and truths that I truly believe about Student Ministry as it relates to Trinity Church.

  • I Believe that Student Ministry should strategically teach teenagers towards their life stage.
  • I Believe that launching teenagers into adulthood without helping them discover their life passion is a disservice to them as individuals in the Body of Christ.
  • I Believe that what happens at an altar, at a coffee shop, in a living room, or in a school  cafeteria  can change the spiritual direction of a teenagers life.
  • I Believe that teenagers are as relevant a part of our local church as anyone in their 20’s, 30’s, or older.
  • I Believe that  those that serve and lead and invest in our students each week are in a better place to be blessed by God than those that do not.
  • I Believe that teenagers willing to serve are developing a compassionate heart, and I’m willing to provide any opportunity for them to serve in our local church.
  • I Believe that it s allright to  criticize  our methods, programming, and systems in order to improve and upgrade what we do to reach teenagers in a more relevant way.
  • I Believe that adults should be intimately involved in the life of our teenagers, and that relationship matters.
  • I Believe that Student Ministry can be structured, organized, and maintianed in a way that brings Glory to God and empowers teenagers at the same time.
  • I Believe that teenagers should be given the opportunity to accept Christ at church, but that parents should be involved in the process and supported to continue the  spiritual  conversation.
  • I Believe that parents carry the primary spiritual burden to disciple their own teenagers, and that it s our job as a church to encourage the necessary steps to lead their families at home.
  • I Believe that Student Ministry  brings about change in the world in the here and now, and not only in the future.  Teenagers are not the “church of the future”, but are the “church of the right now.”
  • I Believe that every student ministry experience holds within it the opportunity for life change in the heart of a teenager.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Michael · April 3, 2012

    Great post!