The High School Campus: The Last Tribal Stop?

In one of our classes today at North Central University, we began a discussion about the presence of the church on public school campuses. The lecture challenged all the youth leaders and church leadership students to see the school campus as a primary mission field. Many people have called the campus 'the last tribal stop' of our young people. The place where we can find this group gathered together in sub-groups for the last time before adulthood. Maybe the final place the church can reach these students with the gospel.

Too often I have heard youth leaders say that their high school is closed to the gospel and the youth ministry is not allowed on campus. I have yet to see a closed campus in my 27 years of youth ministry. What I have heard are youth leaders begging students to come to their church, while at the same time the youth ministry is unwilling to go to the public school. So, I offer 30+ ways to reach the campus as a youth ministry and walk into public school life.

  • The best way a youth ministry gets on campus is with campus missionaries (students)
  • Make yourself available to the school for crisis counseling
  • Run for school board or other educational positions in government and local elections
  • Look to get involved in the myriad of extra-curricular activities at school
  • Find the Christian para-church organizations that are recognized clubs on campus and have a presence or leadership in those ventures
  • Send birthday cards to your students friends and faculty with youth ministry name on it
  • Use seasonal and holiday themes to attend concerts and plays
  • Have students wear youth ministry themed clothing and gear to familiarize the school with your youth ministry at events or daily at school
  • Attending the funerals of youth, school staff, or faculty can build relationships in the school at important times
  • Monitor current events and headlines and be ready to offer lecture, counsel, or intervention
  • Pray publicly at community events where school officials are present (elections or banquets)
  • Involvement in FCA can help access you to many students and staff
  • Use your skill-sets in many different areas:
    • Coaching athletics
    • Choir
    • Band
    • Theatre
    • Officiating
    • Teaching
  • Use school facilities for a Christian concert or seminar
  • Have your students promote youth group activities or events
  • Encourage youth ministry students to invite the youth pastor to classroom as a guest speaker for a religious or non-religious subject
  • Organize a Super Bowl party and use the school facilities to host it
  • Promote your youth group website on clothing, gear, locker, or book stickers/covers
  • Attend the Young Life, Youth Alive, or other campus student led organizations
  • Organize a 7 Project or Youth Speaker at your school
  • Organize a clean up crew for after football games to sweep the grounds
  •     Ask to sing the National Anthem (or youth choir) sing the National Anthem at a game
  • Attend or promote the weekly bible study at your school
  • Offer a place for a class at school to build the Home-Coming float
  • Purchase school t-shirts for a pep rally before an important game (place the youth ministry logo on the shirt)
  • Chaplaincy and Prayer before or after a game
  • Attend See You At The Pole every September
Jeff Grenell