An important part of the youth ministry I’m involved in is Rescue. Our large church’s mission statement is ‘To live, love, and rescue like Jesus’ and as a youth ministry, we embody that too. Rescue, meaning that we tell people about Jesus and try to meet the needs people have here on earth.
We try to consistently incorporate practical ways for our students to get involved in evangelism throughout the year. Whether that’s having a monthly program for students to serve or having series that incorporate a rescue night.
This is the first youth group that I’ve been involved in that has consistently incorporated ways to serve and I can’t be more on board with how they’ve been going about it.
The town that we live in has opportunities to love people everywhere we turn. To us, that looks like homeless, low-income, and a lot of broken people. But, don’t we all live in a town that has broken people? How can we best love those around us and realize the urgency of loving the broken-hearted? How can we incorporate and reiterate this urgency in our youth ministries?
Here are a few ideas of what we do as a youth ministry. Maybe this will stir you on as a student or leader to find ways to serve in your own town.
- Rescue Nights
(Since our mission statement is live, love, and rescue like Jesus, we use this phrase to encompass our outreach nights.) About 2-3 times a year, we have a Wednesday night (our youth group night) that is solely dedicated to going out and serving. We split up into our small groups and we go to different places to serve or we stay at the church and do a service project right where we’re at. We’ve gone to low-income elderly homes, rescue missions, women & children centers, packaged hygiene kits, served food, etc. Most of our students love to have the opportunity to serve others during the year.
- Outreach Wednesday
Once a month, we have teams that go out to our low-income elderly home called, Ralston Towers and another team that goes down to the bus station. At Ralston Towers, our team plays games, sings songs, maybe eat a snack, and just has conversations with the residents that live there. At the bus stop, our team hands out water and food, prays with people, and have conversations. This time happens before youth group starts. Our teams are still small, but we try to push this every month and encourage small groups to go serve together!
- Serving with our Small Group
One thing that we’ve asked our small group leaders to do, is to serve with their groups once a semester. They can get creative with what they want to do, but also our paid student ministry staff is there to help with ideas and organizing things as well.
- Large Group Service
Something we just started this year, is a large group ministry project. We’ve “adopted” a youth group in a neighboring city that doesn’t have a lot of money or resources and our group is raising money for them. We’re doing this in a couple of different ways. One of those being, having a jar where students can donate week to week. Other ideas we’ve tossed around doing is having an event revolved around raising money for them or inviting some of their leaders to come join us at camp. Again, this one is new to us. But, so far it’s been really awesome to see students give.
I really think that incorporating evangelism into the heartbeat of our youth ministry is very important. And more than just the yearly missions trip. Now, that’s going to look different in everyone’s context, but get creative and even pull in some of your student leaders to help with some ideas. What our world needs more than ever right now is the love of Jesus. Now that may sound cliché, but the urgency is real. So, how can we as a group of believers go and spread that love and help to meet the needs of others?
Becca has done youth ministry in various places across the US and is currently involved in youth ministry in Modesto, CA.
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