When I was wrapping up at my former church, I received a Facebook message from a student at my new church. I had never met him, didn’t know anything about him, and even had to make sure he was legit. Drake’s first message to me was an invite into his discipleship group. At that point, I knew that God was leading me to a ministry that was serious about disciple making.
I realize this series of articles is to student pastors who want to kick-start disciple making in their student ministry. It’s not every day that students invite their student pastor into their own discipleship group. In fact, I’ve never heard of it before. But this is an encouragement and a vision of what’s to come: your ministry could be the one that sends kids out to make disciples who make disciples.
#7 Disciple Your Future Disciple Makers First.
The FAT Kids
For those who are kick-starting disciple making in their student ministry, one of the most important questions to answer is, “Who do I begin discipling first?” The best place to start is by discipling your FAT kids first. FAT stands for Faithful, Available, and Teachable. These are the students who are already faithful to student ministry worship services and small groups, available to meet for D-Groups, and teachable as you grow in the Word together.
Should We Start with Seniors?
When we are thinking through our FAT kids, we automatically start thinking about our seniors. They are the ones we may know best, are the most mobile, and are mature enough to have D-Group discussions. They are going off to college and they are the leaders in the student ministry, so they can benefit from and model the importance of disciple making. God may call you to disciple your seniors, but I want to encourage you to also think about your sophomores.
A Case for Discipling Sophomores
While I would not suggest having more than two disciple making groups of your own, it is possible to disciple both seniors and sophomores. Why would discipling sophomores make the best sense?
- Sophomores often are not as busy as seniors.
- Sophomores are just starting to drive, and they are always looking to hang out.
- Sophomores not only have two more years of influence in their schools, but they also have two more years of influence in your student ministry.
- Sophomores are mature enough to have deeper conversations, and discipling them will rapidly further their spiritual maturity.
- After you spend 12 months discipling them, sophomores will have two years left to make disciples in your student ministry.
Could you imagine discipling your sophomores for 12 months, and they take the next two years of discipling other students in your ministry? Could you imagine the impact that would make and the message it would send? I highly recommend you target the FAT kids in your sophomore class to kick-start a disciple making movement in your student ministry!
Don’t Forget Your Leaders
When kick-starting a disciple making movement in your student ministry, please remember that it’s not healthy to have more than two disciple making groups of your own. The major reason for this is the nature of discipleship itself: Jesus called His disciples (followers, not just pastors) to make more disciples. Think more about empowering both students and leaders to make disciples instead of you having too many groups to handle.
In saying all of that, don’t forget your leaders! I personally do not meet with my leaders for disciple making, but I do meet with leaders about once a month for lunch to talk about disciple making in our student ministry. Find your leaders who needs questions answered, needs a little motivation, and those who need to hear that their pastor believes they would make a great disciple maker. Then, develop them into a lifelong disciple maker in your student ministry.
Student Pastors, you can kick start a disciple making movement in your student ministry by thinking strategically about who you will disciple and develop to make disciples off the start. Disciple your disciple makers first.
Check back next week for the eighth step in growing a disciple-making movement right where you are.
All Posts in this Series
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