In this podcast episode of the Wednesday @ 1 livestream, I did some spaghetti throwing at the wall about College and Career Ministry, in response to a viewers question. I share some of my ideas and what I’ve done in the past, as well some ideas offered by others. Notes for the livestream are below.

Here’s Beth’s question 

I have a couple of concerns that I am trying to figure out how to tackle. 

Firstly, I am going back to school in two weeks full time, and I would love advice on how to balance school and youth ministry.

Speaking of college, many of our college students are still participating in youth group. We are a small group and have never really had a college presence, but most of our high school graduates are going to local colleges and still coming to church. I don’t know how to smoothly transition our college students into a new ministry. I’ve had someone express that they would want to volunteer but nothing has really come together yet. With me coming into position quite suddenly, this is something I wasn’t expecting

Traditional Models

1) make them leaders 2) let them stay 3) send them to Wednesday service with the adults.

Myrna Cheng Meola offered these great insights,

If church resources allowed: 

1) Have College aged Worship where they learn to plan with church leaders & execute/coordinate as worship leaders ( Presider, Singspiration Leader, Praise Team, Call to Worship/Responsive Bible Reader, Ushers, Tech Crew, Media Team, etc. -all of these would require some apprenticeship styled pre-training & rehearsals either via adult worship service leaders and or scheduled extra time invested sessions.) Rotate guest pastors in for sermons, if no College/Career Single Minister available. 

2) Have Youth aged Worship also, where they learn to plan with church/trained college worship leaders & execute/coordinate as worship leaders. Rotate guest pastors in for sermons, if no Youth Minister available. Apprenticeship styled pre-training and rehearsals are better and should be preferred.

*Note: if musical talents are limited, use CD/MP3 music vis Media Team. Also, make sure to get copyrights for all Powerpoints and Music used -would be a great learning opportunity to show/share responsibilities with them (if/when appropriate) on how to get these worship material legally requested, pay-for, & authorized to public broadcasting use. 

My thoughts

Start panning, with your sophomores and juniors in mind what college ministry will look like when they get there. Are you preparing them to lead? Are you casting vision for their future role in that ministry?

Yes,  if these students qualify to be leaders, you should wrangle them to help you with events, planning the program, etc.

If you try to separate your group, make sure everyone is in on what the topics will be etc. I have failed at this at ties because there are things I wanted them to know, like how to handle money, but going from preaching every week to challenging them to save money and make a budget was just too far a stretch. They weren’t ready to adult yet.

The most successful thing I did was have the college students over to my house every other Friday night for food, board/card games and a short lesson.

I also would do series, like the Alpha video series. These are short videos with questions based on the basics of the Christian faith. I used this two-fold, I want to solidify what they already believed and how they would communicate this to those who did not know Christ.

I did my best to connect college students with the adults in our church for the purpose of ministry whether that’s working in the sound booth, taking offering, serving communion, passion out bulletins, etc. I worked with ministry leaders to help me find service opportunities for these students to fill.

Every quarter, why not let the college and career plan the youth meeting from open to close, announcements, games, message, etc. This gives them a change to plan and execute what God has put on their heart and what they think the next generation needs to hear.

College students are mission and purpose focused. They want to know what they’re good at and where they fit in the world, the church, they community etc. We have the opportunity to all these kids to try on different hats, success and fail, and a maybe get a glimpse of where God may be directing them, but it’s not going to happen in a meeting, it’s going to happen in the doing.

if you’re interested in more of my thoughts on discipleship, you can check our my book The D-Project: Stop the Meeting, Start The Movement and Raise Up A New Generation of Doers by clicking HERE

You can also watch me break it down in this live video.

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