Back to School

In many states across the nation, school starts back in session in August. And even if your schools begin in early September, you’re gearing down from summer ministry—camp, mission trip, backyard Bible clubs, VBS, etc.—and starting to gear into school mode.

Because of school starting and families getting back into the normal nine-month routine, our culture really has become more geared toward the beginning of a new year feeling like this time of year, almost more than New Year’s Day. School starting once again and “normal” setting back in causes an influx of people returning to church regularly, and, consequently, students who have disappeared for a while coming back into the student ministry.

So, in effect, as a youth leader, you get two “starting over points” with your students—the New Year and the new school year.

As your students get back into their school routine and back into being with their friends daily, it’s a great time to remind, refresh, and re-engage them into establishing, or re-establishing, their time alone with God. Maybe for many of your students who are already consistent, it is simply a reinforcement of what they are doing.

Regardless, it is a great time to teach—or re-teach—them how to have time alone with God. How to read their Bible, pray, and listen to Him. Teaching this key discipline two or three times a year, whether you spend an entire Wednesday night, or just a five minute reminder on your school year kick-off night is a great use of your discipleship time.

Here’s a simple run-down of a teaching plan:

  1. A quiet time is simply time alone with God in the Scriptures, prayer, and active listening to Him.
  2. Read Genesis 1:27 and 1 Corinthians 1:9. We were created for fellowship with God.
  3. Keep your time with God simple. Not complex and not too long. Read Scripture, pray, and listen to Him. Find a version of the Bible that you understand.
  4. Read Joshua 1:8. Consistency is the key and application of what God tells you is the goal.
  5. Busyness will try and crowd out your time with God, but your time with God will help you balance your busyness.
  6. Write down anything God speaks to you. Using a journal is a great tool for your faith.
  7. There is not a stronger resource available to you for growing spiritually than spending a few minutes with God each day.

Lastly, as a minister of the Gospel to students, we want to encourage you to lead out in spending time with God too. Let’s face it—a busy life can crowd this all-important time out for any of us. And it is often easier to teach it than to do it ourselves.

May this school year be the best of your ministry and may you truly make disciples this school year, as they are missionaries on their school campuses.