Relational youth ministry is the foundation for our ministry to students. We want to care for them, share life together and journey through the highs and lows of life. So what are the benefits of relational youth ministry? Here’s the “why” we make it a top priority to build relationships:
A focus on relational youth ministry gives …
… students an increased ownership of ministry/faith.
Students who have a significant relationship with a caring adult stick. Students don’t fall through the cracks when they are known, loved and cared for. Connected students still fall away, but we’ve done everything in our power to pour into them to keep the faith. As a general rule, the students with the most relational investment have the highest percentage chance of owning their faith and ministry for a lifetime.
… leaders a more holistic picture of student’s life.
Ministering to your student for the 2 hours a week of “official” small group time is the absolute minimum. What would it look like if we just added a wide open “+” to that time. The “+” could be simple – a text, a phone call, a Tweet, a Facebook message. The “+” could be huge, too – a visit to a students’ game, a visit to the home, showing up at a school play. Whatever the effort may be, it will give you as the small group leader a better glimpse into the world of your students. You’ll better understand them and how to minister to their needs.
… both students and leaders increased openness.
When there is relational equity stored up in a small group there is more discussion. There is more trust. There is more authenticity. Discussions go beyond shallow chatter. There will always be nights when groups clam up, but as a general rule, if you want your group to share, get invested in their lives.
What are the other benefits of a relational youth ministry?