Why Student Ministry Is Failing in Most Churches

Yes, evangelism is a big deal. It should be one of our primary focuses. I am not advocating kicking evangelism to the curb. But in our lust for numbers, we’ve forsaken the gospel.

We are making fans and not disciples.

I’ve even been told by a supervisor, “I don’t care if you just sit around and eat donuts, just get students in the room and do something.”

Discipleship takes time, but student pastors have a short leash. They are pushed to grow the ministry fast, or they’ll be looking for another job.

So a lot of student pastors shoot for quick growth instead of long discipleship for the sake of keeping their job and feeding their family.

Sure, it may lead to a larger student ministry in the short run, but we’re producing shallow disciples who don’t last in the long run.

Jesus often turned away the crowds to focus on his disciples. And it’s no coincidence that it was the disciples, not the crowds, that led the church to change the world.

The crowd fell away when the journey got hard, but the disciples persevered until the end.

2. WE FUND ADULT MINISTRY BUT ASK STUDENTS TO FUND THEMSELVES

If you want to know how much a church values students, follow the money.

Most student pastors are expected to work long hours for little pay and pull off large events with no budget.

It’s not uncommon for a church to give 10 percent to foreign missions, more than 70 percent to adult ministries, and less than 5 percent to student ministry.

We fund other ministry and ask students to throw bake sales and car washes to cover their needs.

If you truly value ministry to the next generation, put your money where your mouth is. Fund them!

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Brandon Hilgemann
Brandon has been on a ten-year journey to become the best preacher he can possibly be. During this time, he has worked in churches of all sizes, from a church plant to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Brandon writes his thoughts and ideas from his journey at ProPreacher.com.