If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you believe in middle schoolers. Because you lead a ministry to young/preteens you are enthusiastic about the age group and want others to see what you see.
This makes you a champion for this age group.
A champion is someone who fights on behalf of someone else. Being a champion for your middle schoolers is essential. They need someone who is in their corner. As a champion you get to advance the cause of those you serve so they get more respect, care, resources, or attention.
"The problem is that, as a champion, you are NOT enough. Your students don’t need one champion, they need a team of champions. "
As a ministry leader people EXPECT you to have a positive view of young teens because you’re supposed to. When you try to advance their cause, you might be easily dismissed. But having a team of champions for your students ensures they will not be easily dismissed.
If you want to REALLY advance the cause of your ministry there are four people that you need on your team of champions:
Your Senior Pastor/Leader
After nearly twenty years in student ministry I’ve seen that the single most important person to the success of your ministry is your Senior Pastor. When they buy into what you're doing, it opens up doors that you never thought possible.
Help them become a champion for your ministry by giving them research that shows the importance of the age group. Face it, most senior leaders love numbers so use that to your advantage. Also, get them on board by doing really excellent work, showing that middle school ministry isn’t a second class ministry.
The Ministry Parents
It’s amazing when parents catch the vision not only for what you’re doing for their child, but for the age group. When they see that you have a purpose and a passion for this age group, they sing your praises to leadership and other parents in the community.
Help them become champions by communicating what your ministry is doing AND why you’re doing what your doing. When they catch your vision they’ll catch your passion.
Your Ministry Volunteer Leaders
This is perhaps the most obvious group of champions, but also under used. Since your leaders see what’s happening on a week to week basis they’re already bought in, but have you mobilized that enthusiasm so they become champions for you in the church and community.
If you need REALLY want to give middle schoolers a champion, then give them a platform to speak for themselves. Most adults have never seen a middle schooler shine, so part of your job is to get them in front of adults to see what you see. Don’t just tell other adults how awesome young teens are, show them.
Much more is possible when your students have a team of champions, instead of just one. So get out there and find your team of champions!
Kevin Libick is a student pastor with over 15 years of ministry experience. Most of that time has been dedicated to middle school ministry. Currently, he is the Student Ministry Pastor at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX. He’s the husband of Kara and father of Knox. In his off time he loves watching his Texas Rangers and making his own bacon.
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