Why the School Campus?
We’re excited to have Chuck Klein as one of our NYWC speakers for the YS Explores session on partnering with schools. This blog post is a great start to the conversations he’ll be navigating at NYWC. Check out more information HERE.
There is no place in the world like the high school and middle school campus.
The energy is remarkable. If you’re a student, teacher or youth leader who is involved in campus ministry, you know what it’s like. It is pure pleasure navigating this fast-paced relational environment.
The campus is what we would call the marketplace or the hub of youth culture. For teenagers, it is where the exchange of ideas, the forming of values, and the shaping of lives take place. This powerful culture is changing students every day – for better or for worse. For a lot of teens, life makes up its mind at the school campus.
It’s the last time this group is together
The school campus not only shapes students, it is also like a magnet in a community, gathering people together like no other institution. Think about this: where are most teenagers on any given Monday through Friday, August to June? The answer is the local school campus. And it is the last time all the teens in your community will be together in one location. After high school everyone will scatter in a thousand directions, making it much more difficult to connect with them personally.
Your discipleship environment
Viewing the campus as a mission field provides an environment for discipleship that you as a youth leader could never create on your own. The influence of a Christian student in middle school or high school will likely never be greater in all their lifetime. As a student they are shoulder to shoulder with nearly everyone in their community of the same age. And compared to adults, the people around them are more likely to respond to the truth of Christ and follow Him. Think of the influence you and your students can have have on a school campus. And think of the growth in your students as their faith is stretched and they begin to see their place at their school with a sense of purpose.
If you’re a youth leader, vocational or volunteer, I want to encourage you to make the school a core focus for you and your students. School outreach as an add-on in youth ministry seldom works. It has to be part of the DNA of your ministry, basic in how you shape your plans and disciple your students. It’s all about cultivating a heart in your students for others, praying, caring, and sharing the gospel. It’s about instilling a vision in them to see people trust Christ and seeing their school as their personal mission field. It builds disciples who build disciples.
There are 67,000 schools in the U.S. that have middle and high school students. Most of these schools do not have enough Christians praying, serving the school or sharing the gospel. The task that remains is substantial.
[bctt tweet=”Reaching the campus is possibly the American church’s most important mission field.” username=”ys_scoop”]
Together we can make a huge dent, and it starts in our own communities.
Chuck Klein gives national leadership to the Campus Alliance, a coalition of 60 organizations and church denominations that share the vision of seeing a ministry to every middle school and high school student and campus in America. The Campus Alliance sponsors everyschool.com, where students and adult leaders can adopt their schools and connect with resources for campus ministry. Chuck is also an author and video producer. He and his wife, Clare, make their home in San Diego, California.
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.