Recently, Brian Baker began a student pastor “get together”. We had no name and really hardly any idea of where it could be headed, but the Lord has chosen to bless his vision. He had a vision of student pastors getting together to share ministry ideas, vision, burdens, and connect with one another. The Lord chose to bless this what we now call “Triad Youth Pastor Fellowship.” We began meeting several months ago, and the Lord has blessed our time. It has been an awesome opportunity for me to connect with other student pastors in our area. I have been a student pastor for years, and we have never had a consistent “get together” such as this. So, I am stoked about what God is doing. I love people and I love getting to know new student pastors. I want to give you a few reasons why you as a student pastor need a student pastor community regularly!
- Burden Sharing — Recently, my wife said to me after a youth group meeting, “what is wrong?” I responded to her, “I cannot explain it to you or anyone else. I can only explain it to my student pastor friends once a month when we get together!” Now, that was quite funny, but sometimes there is a great deal of truth in this as well. The only people who I feel genuinely understand what I go through are other student pastors. If you are not a student pastor, you do not get what student pastors have to go through. This has been a great time for me to interact and share my burdens with others. Each month, we go around the room and share what God has been doing in our lives and share any burdens with one another. The Bible commands us to carry each other’s burdens.
- Prayer — You have to pray with one another. You need other local men in ministry who can pray with you about what God is doing and wants to do in your ministry. I need and covet the prayers of our local student ministries around us. Our student ministry relies on this! Also, I rely on the prayers of others. There is nothing like going to a student pastor fellowship and hearing how some of these guys have been praying for me this past month.
- Connecting — I love connecting with new student pastors. When I moved into the Winston Salem area to be the student pastor at Union Grove, I started googling any churches in our area, and finding who the student pastors were and adding them on facebook. They were probably wondering who this weirdo was that was adding them, but I wanted to connect with them. This is my passion. I love connecting and interacting with other people in ministry through social media. When I go to this student pastor fellowship, we get to make new connections that you might not ever make otherwise. I went this past week, and met 3 new youth pastors in our area that I did not even know existed. When I got home, I had 3 new friend requests. Now, we are connected, and look forward to growing an even deeper connection with one another.
- Sharpen yourself — The Bible says that friends sharpen one another. This is what being friends with one another should do to you. I have some close friends in student ministry in my area that make me a better follower of Jesus.
- Ideas — We discuss ideas regularly. How can we do ministry better? We discuss better communication with our students. We discuss what is working and what is not working. It is basically a time to get together and learn how to do student ministry more effectively. It is similar to you getting in front of your computer and reading the top student ministry blogs for several hours at a time.
- Bible study- We do a quick mini devotion each month. A different student pastor comes and opens the Word to share a quick thought with the group each month. It is like 3-5 minutes long if that, and it is important for me to be challenged in this meeting each month. I love studying and discussing the Bible with these guys.
- Growth — The last couple of thoughts are very similar, but there is a bit of difference. I love growing with these guys. I love improving our ministry and learning how to minister more effectively.
- Fellowship — Bottom line, it is relationship building. You need this! You need healthy relationships outside of your church! You need someone to talk too that is not a member of your church.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why I think that this is important to have in your area. If you do not have it, I encourage you to start one for student pastors in your area. You will be glad you did, and probably the guys in your area will be glad that you did as well. If you are in the triad area of NC, and would like to connect in our group, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to connect with you!
Josh Evans is the student pastor at Union Grove Baptist Church in the Winston Salem, NC area. He has been a mentor and pastor to students for 4 years. You can connect further with Josh on his blog or send him a direct email at email@example.com.