Beginning a relationship with Jesus is the first step in ministry. The next step is the starting line of the adventure of following Christ. We want students to grow to imitate Jesus.
One of the most important issues that student ministry faces is helping students take next steps. Some call it discipleship. Some call it sanctification. Some call it spiritual formation. Some call it spiritual growth. Some call it becoming Christ-like.
Whatever phrase you prefer, the principle remains the same. Jesus' call is for us to make disciples who make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
How to help students grow as disciples:
Help them feed themselves. Just like my son, Micah who is 16 months old needs me and my wife, Cassidy to feed him, so do our students who are new to following Jesus. We want students to learn how to grow on their own. Students need to know how to build spiritual habits of reading their Bible, prayer and accountability.
Connect in a small group with a mentoring leader. We want the group leader to follow-up with them on taking the next step of baptism and spiritual growth. Through relationships is where the most growth occurs.
What are we leading students to become? I think most ministries know how to express the gospel but do they have clear steps for people to grow into mature followers of Christ?
Questions to help lead students to grow spiritually: - Is there a clear step to connect new followers of Christ into small groups? - Are small groups open to new students in their existing groups? (inward or outward focused) Are your small group leaders equipped to help lead students to grow in their faith? Are they helping the student take the next step?
When the next steps are clear is when people will take the first step.
What do you think about helping students take next steps? How do you build a discipleship process?