The Greatest Mission Field
The Greatest Mission Field On The Planet...
One of the places that has been lost in the discussion of global missions and evangelism is the High School Campus. It is almost unmentionable in the discussions of world outreach strategies. This blog begins a discussion about the presence of the Church, and, ultimately Christianity, on public school campuses. The greatest mission field on the planet.
This is a challenge to Youth Leaders and to American Para-Church leadership 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 find teenagers gathered together in sub-groups for the last time before adulthood. Think about it. Every teen sub-group in culture. Jocks, skaters, alts, brainiacs, emos, hip-hops, gamer's, or preps. All together. Maybe the final place the Church can reach these students with the gospel is on the school campus.
A sub-group is a distinctive set of people with similar styles, language, interests, and ways within the larger context of a society
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. I have seen closed visions. Instead of Youth leaders begging students to come to their church, maybe we should meet them on their campus. Whether that is through our students in our Youth Ministries, using our gifts and skill-sets as Youth Leaders, or neutral site outreaches, we cannot avoid the school campus.
So, in this initial blog on raising the awareness of the school campus in our conversations on global missions and evangelism, I offer 30+ ways to reach the campus as a Youth Leader and walking out the gospel in public school life. These ideas can be strategic starters to assuring that your Youth Ministry will have a voice on the local school campus. And the gospel will have an entrance into the lives of millions of students in our American schools.
- 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 holidays 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 Ministry 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 Ministry 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 at the Church 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