Don't overlook the shepherds in your student ministry

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I hope by now you have wrapped up your student ministry semester and enjoyed your end of year Christmas festivities. And now you are ready for a break. You should be. But as you go wheels up this Christmas season, don’t forget about the shepherds among your student ministry.

What I mean by this is that we do student ministry for the masses. We do it for the kids who come and love it. We sing songs, play games, have small groups and the kids that have shown up are the ones who get it, or at least get you. But if your church is anything like ours, some students don’t fit the mold, don’t go with the program. They are smelly, lice filled dredges. Just kidding. Those are the shepherds. :)

However, similarly, some kids are basically like that loosely connected to your student ministry. And while your supervisor doesn’t know about them and they don’t count in your numbers, they are still valuable humans who Jesus longs to meet in a profound way. They are the outskirts of your ministry, and therefore most likely missing the good news that is for them.

What a great ministry it would be for us as ministers to model the love and compassion of Jesus, to leave the comforts of the 99 and run after the misfits, the shepherds, the ones who won’t make our ministries “better” but who are in desperate need of the love and grace that the family of God provides through Jesus.

I know you are ready for a break, you deserve it! But in your deserved rest, don’t be too quick to overlook the marginalized and forgotten among your student ministry. Why not take a half hour and pray through your list, pray specifically for those students who are now off your radar. Write them a little note, send them a text, have the church buy you a meal. The best ministry we can be doing is the ministry of Jesus and like Jesus.

You have a lot of demands on you and on your program. You do have a job to do. But in the process of crushing your job, don’t forget about your ministry! Run after those shepherds and invite them to come and see this thing that God has done!

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Merry Christmas fellow youth workers! May the Lord be with you and work through you as you run after the 1, the way that people ran after us, the way Jesus left heaven and ran after us so we could be adopted daughters and sons of the King!