Whiteboard Session | How Many Do I Disciple (Really)?

Tom Shefchunas
May 8th, 2020

How many students can you effectively DISCIPLE at a time?

This may be the most important strategic question you can ask yourself. As you answer it you will find some of your core beliefs about ministry, your core tasks as a youth worker, and your idea of what success is in student ministry.

Let’s start with discipleship. I have found a purely academic definition be lacking. So, let me ask you this. What does the call to discipleship look like practically in your ministry.

If it’s simply teaching a student information, then this is easy. Give me a microphone and I can disciple as many students as there are in the room.

If have found this approach to….well…for lack of better works…suck. Information in the information age is just more information. 

So, how do you make it more than just information?

I think you must consider time and relationship as well as information. Information considered over time, in the context of a supportive relationship to guide you as you wrestle and wonder about yourself, God, and the world.

Students should have…

  • Time to grow. 
  • Time to develop cognitively. 
  • Time to experience life…good and bad. 
  • Time to walk with believers.

In the end, students will have…

  • Relationships that matter
  • Relationships that you trust
  • Relationships with people who are in front of you and have chosen to love you

This is discipleship. It is organic. It is unique. It is critical to the future faith of a student. It is our primary stewardship.

Tom Shefchunas

Tom Shefchunas (Shef) is the Executive Director at Youth Specialties. Shef also works with Orange in the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Before that Shef was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. His passion is working with, recruiting, and developing volunteers and leaders who will shape the next generation. Through nearly two decades of leadership in ministry Shef has had numerous opportunities to coach and be coached by some amazing individuals.

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.