The One Sheep
There’s a command that has been given to all people who profess faith in Jesus Christ to go after the one sheep who wanders away.
The easiest students to minister to or pastor are the kids who want to be there, the kids whose parents are core members of the church, the kids who will always show up if the doors are open. You automatically have time with them, you develop a good relationship with them and their families, and you build trust and are able to speak into their lives and help them grow in their faith.
The hardest students to minister to are the ones who come once and then you don’t see them for a while. Those students always have a good excuse every time you see them and tell them you’ve missed them. What is your role in those students’ lives?
Jesus laid it out:
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:12-14 NLT)
It’s easy to focus on investing in the students who walk through the doors at your church. Yes, this is something you should do! However, what effort are you making to go out and find that one lost sheep? It’s pretty clear that Jesus cares more about your ministry to the one. The many are taken care of—they come from families who love God and teach them his word. The many are getting what they need. The one is lost. The one is wandering and searching for the true Shepherd.
What would happen if you decided to pursue the one? What would happen if you used the core students in your ministry to go after the one? After all, your students should be taking ownership of the ministry that’s happening at their church, right?
I’ve been challenged by these three verses, and I need to refocus some of my energy in order to go after the one. It’s not optional—it’s something we all need to start doing.
Kent Bjurstrom is the pastor of student ministries at Northview Church in Carmel, IN. His desire is to see middle school and high school students enter into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ and help them put their faith in motion. Connect with Kent Twitter & Instragram at @pastorkentb.
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.