The only pool I could call my own is the aboveground my parents bought for my sister and me to swim in during the hot Alabama summers of my childhood. This was not some wide, snazzy aboveground pool wrapped by a deck or anything like that; it was the cheapest, aluminum-sided, walk-through-the-grass-to-get-to-the-redneck-cooling-trough pool you could imagine.
We had to clean the pool with chlorine constantly during the summer months because it didn’t have any kind of filter system. I will never forget the nasty algae that would stagnate and take over during the non-swimming. Before swimming again, we would have to shock the pool with all kinds of chemicals to kill the nastiness that had grown.
#7 Strategically Shock Your Student Ministry to Start a Movement.
Don’t underestimate the power of shocking the spiritual stagnation out of your student ministry. Sometimes it is the best way to kick-start a disciple making movement with a crystal clear strategy!
Preach a Sermon Series on Disciple Making
Perhaps the best way to start a student ministry-wide awareness on disciple making is by preaching a sermon series on it. When you preach a sermon series on disciple making, both your students and leaders will understand that this is not just some program or another Bible study, but a movement that Jesus began two thousand years ago that He wants to continue in your student ministry from now on. (If you would like to see examples of a sermon series on disciple making, don’t hesitate to contact me.)
Before preaching a sermon series on disciple making, I would encourage you to work out your disciple-making strategy, as well as begin your own D-group. You do not want to preach this sermon series on disciple making ignorantly. You want to be informed, well studied, thought out, experienced, and ahead of the game before preaching about it to your students.
This is a tactic I used, myself. I preached a 3 week sermon series on disciple making using our 3 big words: Bible, Gospel, Personal. Please refer to Part 2 for this explanation.
Write Small Group Curriculum on Disciple Making
Along with a Wednesday night sermon series on disciple making, write small group curriculum for your Sunday mornings during that same time. When I was kicking off a disciple-making ministry in my student ministry, I preached on Wednesday night, and then students met in their life groups on Sunday morning to discuss and dive into what they hear in the sermons. Wednesdays were for gathering information; Sundays were for putting that information into practice.
Illustrations and Applications on Disciple Making
Two ways to highlight D-groups in your student ministry without simply standing up and announcing them from stage is by referring to them in your sermon or in small group illustrations/applications. If your personal devotions and D-group discussions are on the passages and themes that you are preaching and teaching on, then you should have weekly sermon and small group illustrations/applications from your own D-group and personal devotions to share. This will serve as a great weekly reminder to your students of the importance and life transformation happening in disciple-making groups. Just like pools need constant chlorine applications to keep their crystal clarity, student ministries need constant reminders through illustrations and applications to keep focused on disciple making.
Do a D-NOW Weekend on Disciple Making
I’m not sure why this seems to be a revolutionary idea, but I’ve actually never heard of another student ministry do their Disciple Now Weekend on…..wait for it….Making Disciples! We tried it, did it, and literally have the t-shirt to prove it. It was one of the best “shockers” to kick-start a disciple making movement within our student ministry. Bring in a guest speaker from out of town who understands a strategic disciple making movement in student ministry and have him inspire and instruct your student ministry leaders and students to get involved in disciple making groups. (If you’re looking for a speaker, I would love to help you. Please contact me.)
Student Pastors, you can kick-start a disciple-making movement in your student ministry through the use of a sermon series, small group curriculum, illustrations and applications, and a Disciple Now Weekend.
You can read the other articles in this series or check out more disciple making resources at https://youthgrouptruth.com/category/disciple-making/
Global Student Pastor
Liberty Baptist Church