How do we lead students to become like Jesus in such a busy world? Spiritual growth takes time. You can't microwave faith. Spiritual growth is a process. In my experience, people usually have an unclear line on the next steps. Usually it is to trust Jesus as Savior and be baptized. Sometimes there is more to it. Sometimes we let people figure things out on their own.
All that to say, do you have a process that you can easily explain to a 6th grader? If we can communicate something to a 6th grade student and they can understand it, then it is clear.
We have tried to simplify the next steps for our students to connect:
Weekly Gathering: We invite students to attend "Source," our weekly gathering for students.. We want them to experience worship, relevant Bible teaching and connect in a small group. Our vision is for students to imitate Christ and influence the world.
Teaching with next steps in mind: Communicating the gospel to students is just as important to how they respond. Teaching should always have the big picture of the gospel in each message. Students must see God's Story and how their story intersects. Spend time explaining the Jesus of the Bible and not the Jesus of pop culture. Explain the background of scripture and paint the picture of what it means to know the God of the universe.
-Students need to understand they are lost without hope apart from Jesus -Students must see Jesus as THE only hope for their lives. -Students need a safe place to process what it means to surrender to Jesus. -Students need to see that Jesus saved them FOR something just as much as FROM their past.
A few clarifying questions to ask about next steps:
Are new students feeling accepted and loved when they walk in the doors of the church? Do you meet before and pray for students with your leaders? Do students know how to respond and be counseled upon what it means to follow Christ? Do leaders know how to counsel students during the response in the big group service? How do you explain salvation? How do you explain baptism?
What thoughts do you have about leading students to make next steps spiritually?