5 Helpful Resources To Have Available for Students
Discipling students extends far beyond the main stage teaching event, small group discussions, showing up in their lives throughout the week, praying with and for them, or a positive social media influence.
One of the places I believe discipleship should extend is to the physical resources we have for students when they come through the doors of our ministries. Every student arrives at our ministries in a different place in their faith journey. Some arrive with non-existent faith and others a maturing faith. Providing resources for students is a helpful way to meet them where they are and give them tangible materials so they can learn and continue growing when they walk out of our doors.
There are more than five resources we can have available for students, but here are five specific ones I think every youth ministry should have:
1. A copy of the Bible
I know, I know…most students use YouVersion or some sort of mobile Bible. But, with the convenience of mobile Bibles, come the distractions of notifications that can be checked with the swipe of a finger. I really believe that every person should have a physical copy of the Bible.
Make sure that every student who wants or needs a Bible has access to one!
2. New: First Steps for Believers by ym360.com or some such resource for new believers.
If a student comes into a new relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to have resources for them to help with the first steps in their faith and jumpstart their growth. One of the best ways to do this is to resource them with materials designed for the new believer. Resources that explain tenets of the Christian faith and spiritual disciplines are great to have on hand. They help new believers keep a vibrant connection to the Lord and moving forward in spiritual growth.
3. “Start Here” devotionals for YouVersion
Even though we may be providing physical Bibles, we should also provide a resource list of devotionals on YouVersion. These could be connected with teaching series already going on in your ministry, a list of devotionals that leaders and students have completed and highly rated, or random topical devotions that are available on YouVersion. This resource takes some of the guesswork and searching out of finding a good devotional and helps eliminate the “what should I read” question when approaching the Bible.
Our students are filled with LGBTQ+ questions and want to know what the Bible has to say about this topic. This is a helpful and practical resource written specifically for teenagers (the adult version is called People to Be Loved). I think this is a must have resource as we navigate some of these conversations and questions. We don’t have to have all the answers, but we have to know where to point students and how to resource them well with strong biblical content.
5. Mental health resources
This could be a list of local Christian counselors, websites, or Bible passages that address, or have the ability to address, any number of mental health struggles present in the life of a teenager. Mental health resources are a need and one we can’t shy away from or neglect.
I hope these five resources will be helpful and beneficial to your ministry and your students. What would you add to or eliminate from this list?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.