10 Ways Student Pastors Can Kick-Start Disciple Making in Their Student Ministry (Part 3)

warriorswinchampionshipI played high school sports at Tuscaloosa Christian School in Tuscaloosa, AL. We were told that our rival posted their top five goals in their locker room. Their top three goals were all the same: “Beat Tuscaloosa, Beat Tuscaloosa, Beat Tuscaloosa.” Their fourth goal was “Win the State Championship.” Their fifth goal was “Go Undefeated.” Needless to say, they did not win the state championship, go undefeated, or beat us. Their goal was too short-sighted.

#2 Work Toward THE WIN in Disciple Making

Student Ministry Goals. Many student ministries have no goal. Zig Ziglar accurately said, “ If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Its very easy in student ministry to get caught up in the group, the services, the events, and the trips, but have no win that you’re working toward.

Some student ministries have the wrong goal. While there are many good goals in student ministry, only the right goal will make a difference in the students’ lives and throughout their lives. What is your win in student ministry? Is it short-sighted? Have you taken your win away from the championship and only focused it on one aspect?

Only a few student ministries have the right goal. I’ve been convicted lately about my own short-sighted goal in my student ministry. For years my goal has been to raise up Gospel-centered, relational students who make disciples that are on mission with Jesus. I’m changing my goal from “raise up” to “send out.” I’m afraid “raising up” won’t always “send out” but if our win is to send them out, we will always focus on raising them up. We will win in student ministry when we are sending out students with the Gospel to make disciples and live on mission with Jesus.

Ministries vs. Movements. Short-sighted wins and life-long goals are the differences in ministries and movements. Robby Gallaty helped me understand this difference at his Disciple Making Cohort. A ministry is when students come in, sit down, listen up, learn, and leave. Our win then is numbers, attendance, the experience, and the lesson. But when our win is a movement, we are focussed on our students coming in, sitting down, listening up, learning, leaving, sharing, making disciples, living on mission, etc. We want students to come into our ministry so that they can continue God’s movement!

The WIN is Disciple Making. Its unbelievable how the last thing Jesus commissioned us to do is usually the last thing we ever do. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus’ commission for all Christians should be our win in student ministry. What are we doing so that our students are encouraged, equipped, and empowered to make disciples wherever they go for the rest of their lives?

The win in our student worship services is Jesus’ disciple making movement.

The win in our student small groups is Jesus’ disciple making movement.

The win in our student discipleship groups is Jesus’ disciple making movement.

The win in our student events and trips is Jesus’ disciple making movement.


Student worship services disciple the heart of the student.

Student small groups disciple our students to have deeper conversations.

Student discipleship groups disciple our students to make more disciples.

Student events and trips disciple our students to go.

Work Toward the WIN in Disciple-Making. When the win in disciple-making is the disciple-making movement, it changes the way you disciple students. Yes, discipleship is for the student’s spiritual walk, but that win alone is short-sighted. The ultimate win in disciple making groups is to send the students out after 12-18 months to make more disciples who make more disciples. Disciple your students and leaders toward that win. Disciple your students and leaders to make more disciples! Watch disciple-making transform your student ministry into the world changing movement Jesus called for.

You can read the other articles in this series or check out more disciple making resources at https://youthgrouptruth.com/category/disciple-making/

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