Before the party, 17-year-old Kaitlin McCleary worried that no one from her high-school would show up.
Beyond the games and snacks, Kaitlin's hope for the event was that her peers would encounter Christ in a new way. So Kaitlin talked with Shawn Basone, a staff woman with The Coaching Center of Student Venture, a branch of Cru.
Shawn helped calm Kaitlin's nerves and reminded her that this is God's event, not hers.
That night, by the time 6 pizzas arrive, 24 teenagers are mingling with each other. At the end of the night, Shawn and Kaitlin go through comment cards from the party.
To Kaitlin's amazement, a number of students marked that they were interested in learning more about God.
Shawn notices that one girl marked a different box. "Kaitlin," she exclaims, "one of the girls accepted Christ!"
"What?" Kaitlin throws her arms around Shawn in a hug. "Can I see?" she asks, grinning. "This makes it all worth it!"
You Will Not Be Alone
Through The Coaching Center, leaders of all ages are trained over the phone on how to be used by God to turn middle and high-school students into Christ-centered laborers.
Through the Coaching Center you will be paired with a Cru staff member who will coach you over the phone and through e-mail to help you lead a Christian ministry at your local public school.
Student Venture's goal is that every student on every campus will have a chance to say "yes" to the love and forgiveness that Christ offers.
"Summer is a great time to plan and get ready for the fall to start your ministry," says Cru staff member, Dave Merritt. For more, please contact 877-GoCampus (462-2678) to be connected with The Coaching Center, or visit their Web site for a free detailed guide on how to start a ministry.
5 Steps to Starting a Middle or High School Ministry
(These steps are adapted from The Coaching Center's Web site. The Web site also includes resources to go with each step.)
Step 1: Share in the Vision
Spend a significant amount of time in prayer and reading the Bible. Ask yourself, "What needs of teenagers are most pressing on my heart?"
Think through how things would be different if all the teenagers at your local school came to know Christ.
Dream about what you want to see God do at your local school. How do you want the school to be different 2-4 years from now?
Step 2: Talk to a Coach
If you know one, talk to a local Student Venture staff member in your area. Otherwise, call Student Venture's Coaching Center at 877-GoCampus to speak with a personal ministry coach.
Step 3: Apply to Volunteer
In order for you to use the name Student Venture or Cru for your ministry or activities, you need to apply and be accepted. Also all volunteers who work with Student Venture need to apply.
Step 4: Recruit a Team
Explain the vision for your ministry with others and give them specific roles to play. It is important to choose the right people for your team.
Step 5: Create a Ministry Plan
You may want to begin by downloading a planning worksheet. Here are some important steps for creating a ministry plan:
- First, find others who will pray with you and for you.
- Second, learn more about your local school. What are its unique needs?
- Third, meet and gather students by going to the school or wherever teens hang out.
- Fourth, observe how the students hang out naturally.
- Fifth, choose a group of students to reach and plan events.
- Sixth, become aware of legal issues and protective measures that need to be taken when working with minors.