Do you want to reach lost students in your city with the gospel? Do you want to help your students become more like Jesus? Do you want to multiply the ministry momentum that your church is experiencing? If you’re a student pastor, I hope the answer to those questions is resounding YES. If it’s not, you should probably quit your job and try to get a job at Starbucks. But, for the rest of us, I believe there is a way to multiply ministry momentum, attract the lost, and create space for discipleship with STUDENT EVENTS.
Outreach events are by no means able to take the place of weekly gatherings, solid small groups, or personal discipleship, but are definitely a means of adding to them. Here are 3 reasons unpacked of why you need to start doing big student events at your church at least 3 times a year...
1. Student Events Multiply Ministry Momentum
The church as we know it was started with a big event. In Acts 2, God used a gigantic outreach event to start the movement that we are a part of today. When Christians gather together at a big event with the sole purpose of experiencing God and seeing people saved, ministry momentum multiplies and the church grows.
I am a part of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. Our student ministry, Fuse, does 3-4 big events per year: FSKO (Fuse Summer Kick-Off in May), the Gauntlet (Summer camp in July), a massive Christmas Party in December, and we sometimes turn Halloween into a 4th big event. These 3-4 strategically placed events have proven to not only serve as a momentum multiplier for the student ministry, but also generate serious momentum for our entire church.
When student events are empowered by the Holy Spirit and executed with excellence, momentum occurs, and the church thrives.
2. Student Events Attract the Lost
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” -Luke 19:10
“The church exists for nothing else than to draw men into Christ.” -C.S. Lewis
I don’t think I have to do much convincing that the church should have a hyper-focus on reaching lost people with the gospel. The point I’m trying to stress is that big events are one of the most effective ways to effectively reach students far from God that normally wouldn't attend a regular church service. Students seem to feel much more comfortable when they know there's going to be many other "non-religious" kids at a certain event.
At Pentecost, Jesus used a big event to save 3,000 lost people. The same Holy Spirit that enabled that to happen is ALIVE today and is able to save masses of students when the gospel is passionately and faithfully preached to students who wouldn't normally come to church.
3. Students Events Create Space for Discipleship
The obvious win for a big event is that lost students will meet Jesus, but the part that we seldom consider are the weeks and months of preparation leading up to the big event. This time creates space to teach your students the importance of reaching the lost and actually gives them the opportunity to do it.
When your students become more focused on reaching lost people, they become more like Jesus, and are drawn into desperate dependence on God for courage to invite. This is a massive next step for many new believers or young believers, and is one of the most effective forms of practical discipleship.
God often uses big student outreach events to multiply ministry momentum, attract the lost, and create space for discipleship. When this happens, God is glorified, your students will be filled with the joy of seeing Jesus save their friends that they invited (this often spurs them on to invest and invite more often), and the church grows exponentially.
If you’re not currently doing at least 3 big events per year, my advice is to start asking Jesus what this would look like in your church context and throw the idea out at your next team meeting. If you are currently doing big student outreach events, be looking for the next 2 blogs that will focus on the key components (no matter your budget or current size) of HOW to reach the most lost students through student events and ensure that they are “added to your number."