five best ministries, teaching students, youth ministry, student ministry, discipleship

Your 5 Best Ministries

By Tripp Atkinson May 10, 2017

I see so many students and adults searching feverishly to find their perfect place of service. Maybe the Worship Team audition didn’t go as planned and their one night on Tech Team ended with the fire alarm going off. Following a couple of bad experiences they assume they’ll never find their “best ministry.”

It’s great to help our students understand their giftedness, abilities, and passions, but we need to realize that our students can get lost in the search and miss ministries right in front of them. Check out these five things that could actually be their (and your) best ministries…and be sure not to miss the last point!

“Our students can get lost in the search and miss ministries right in front of them.”

1. Friendship

What?! Friendship is a ministry? Yep.

Think about it. Has there ever been a time when you felt alone and someone unexpectedly befriended you? How did that make you feel? What did that do for you?

The Bible describes the beauty and value of friendships:

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”Proverbs 27:17

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”Ecclesiastes 10:9-10

Because we were created to live in community we all crave healthy friendships…even the people that pretend to want everyone to leave them alone. Our students might change someone’s life just by reaching out to them.

2. Prayer

Prayer is not only the single greatest untapped power that is available to every Christ-follower, but it is also an incredible ministry. Prayer shows great value and love, and prayer makes a difference.

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.”1 John 5:14

Consider the reality of that. God. Hears. Us. God wants us to pray to him, and he hears us. Scripture urges us to use this privilege to pray for others.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”1 Timothy 2:1

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.”James 5:16-18

So prayer is powerful. Praying is something you can do, and it’s something that our students can do as a ministry.

3. Invitation

Nearly 90% of new church attenders come to church because of a personal invitation from a friend. Just recently I baptized an incredible high school student who told me her life was changed by an invitation to a Wednesday night Gathering at Sugar Hill Church. She had never been to church in her life, and she came that night and felt such love and acceptance that she came back the next week. She has been coming every week since for the past year. (More of her story later…)

An invitation to church is pretty easy, and there are other life-changing invitations that our students can make that include an invitation to explore faith more, to trust Christ, or to be bold in living one’s faith.

4. Conversation

How many conversations do your students have a day? What percentage of those would you consider to be “meaningful” (about more than just sports, weather, gossip, etc.)?

In a society of soundbite communication, people long to be understood. This is why a simple meaningful conversation with someone could be life-changing for them.

Use these ideas to encourage your students to minister through meaningful conversations:

– Ask questions following an event or small group.
– Continue a serious conversation.
– Bring up spiritual matters.
– Ask someone their thoughts on things that matter most in life.

Remember the student that was invited by a friend to church? Over the following weeks her friends would have conversations with her about what she was hearing and learning at church. These friends (for the first time) were having meaningful conversations about faith, God, and life. Several months after she first came, this girl trusted Jesus, was baptized, and is growing so much in her faith! A year later, she is leading worship and is making an incredible difference for Christ.

It began with an invitation followed by conversation.

5. Disciple-Making

I know what you may be thinking, “Wait a second…making-disciples? All of the other things were pretty easy, but I can’t make disciples.” Well before you stop reading, check out this NEWSFLASH:

If you can intentionally build relationships, pray, invite, engage in meaningful conversations, and walk with others, you can make disciples!!!

It’s true.

Perhaps this is hard for you to believe because you have these ideas that “disciple-making” is reserved for the spiritually elite. For so long, I used to think that making disciples required a seminary degree, a really thick Bible, and a deluxe highlighter set, but contrary to perfectly staged social media posts, discipleship is not limited to an artsy landscape that includes coffee, books, and highlighters.

Jesus repeatedly gave us great examples of discipleship in how he related to others. Throughout his ministry, we see Jesus:

– Reach out to others (befriend)
– Meet their physical needs
– Engage in meaningful conversation focused on truth
– Invite them to walk with him.
– Model for them a life that honors God.

Let’s get over our fear of making disciples and be about the greatest mission that Jesus gave each of us in Matthew 28:18-20,

“‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” – Jesus

Perhaps your “best ministries” happen moment by moment as you simply live in the reality that Jesus has not only called you, but also empowered you to change the world as you abide in him. Perhaps you have been dabbling in your best ministries without even realizing it. And perhaps these best ministries, empowered by Jesus, might just change the world!

For more blogs & resources from Tripp, check out his website at http://trippatkinson.com/

About the Author

Tripp Atkinson

Tripp Atkinson is a pastor, speaker, writer, and coach.  Tripp is highly driven to not only challenge and equip students himself, but also empower others to be successful in leading students. Tripp, his wife Courtney, and their three children live in the Metro Atlanta area where he currently serves as the Student Pastor at Sugar Hill…  Read More