In a world of social media, smartphones, and instantaneous photos and videos, we might feel like we are everywhere our students are! But the reality is that it still matters that we are physically present in their lives.
If you were on the fence about going and visiting students when they play sports, act in musicals, or play an instrument in a concert, let me try to encourage you with these reminders about physically being where our students are!
It shows students that they matter to you past the program!
If students only hear from you when they show up at youth group [or when they miss youth group], they might believe that that’s the only time you care about them.
Showing up at their sporting events or their play shows them that you care for them even when they are not physically present at church. Bonus points if it’s a middle school orchestra performance.
It gives you a chance to talk to parents!
The great thing about students playing a sport down on the field is it gives you, their youth pastor, an excellent opportunity to chat it up with their parents. You probably don’t get much one-on-one time with mom and dad because you are actively ministering to their kid at church!
When you go to the game, not only is it a chance for you to score some significant points with mom and dad, but you can also get to know them a little better. And when you know the parents better, you can minister to their kids better!
It helps students invite friends to youth group!
“Who was that?”
“My youth pastor!”
“Oh, cool! Where do you go to church?”
OK, so it might not go like that every time, but you showing up to a student’s concert means that you get to be present for them and their friends as well. If they’re on the fence about inviting someone to church, if you introduce yourself to their friends, they might feel more willing to ask their friend to church because they’ve already met the youth pastor!
It encourages them to live their faith outside of church!
Students need to see as many examples as possible of people living their faith outside the church walls! You attending their musical shows them that the pastor has a real life! It reminds them that what we teach on Sunday morning or Wednesday night goes beyond just that short time together.
It might even encourage them to take the lessons you have taught and apply them to their team, musical group, or acting buddies!
What are some other reasons we should go to students? I’d love to hear them below!