THE HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY OF CRU

Meeting and Relating to Students

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In order to meet students, you need to go where students hang out and take the initiative to get to know them.

BIBLICAL BASIS

“We loved you so much we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Consider the woman at the well. Jesus meets and befriends a Samaritan woman, addresses her need, and explains salvation to her. She is so changed by Jesus that she brings the whole town out to meet Him. As you think back over your life, who has had the most influence on you for the good?  Think through how you met this person and write down how this person influenced you.  Reflecting on this relationship can help you think through how you can have a positive influence on the teens you meet.

THE PROCESS

1. Know your purpose.

Your purpose is to share Christ and disciple those who respond. At the same time, your audience is made up of very relational people who live in a relational world. You will gain credibility and opportunities to share Jesus as you relate well in the student world.  It requires that you meet as many students as you can. You will have the opportunity to share the gospel with most of those acquaintances as time goes on.

2. Be yourself.

Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.  Students will relate to a variety of people.  The most important thing is that they know that you care about them and that you are comfortable with who God has made you to be.  Reflect on Biblical truths of who Christ says you are so that you have greater confidence in relating to students.  (See Ephesians 1-3 for some of these truths).

3. Be an insider – someone who gets to know the student culture and world.

An insider is someone who adjusts their conversations to the student’s interests rather than just their own; fitting in with them, not asking them to fit in with you.

4. Be casual but definite.

To be casual means that it is important to be relaxed and be yourself as you work among students. Enjoy yourself and enjoy them. To be definite means that you remember your objective: to help the student learn more about a relationship with Jesus so they have the opportunity to receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  As you relate to them be prayerful, asking God to help you know when and how to turn your conversations to his spiritual need. You are not there just to be a buddy, but a spiritual leader and mentor.

5. Prepare to Meet Students

  • Prepare to meet students by looking in the high school yearbook, getting activities calendars, sports schedules, school newspapers, etc. Become a student of the school.
  • Identify the various relational groups, clubs, or cliques of students.
  • Rely on students you know to help meet others.
  • Pray daily for students, even though you don’t know them because this can lead to opportunities to share the gospel with them or God working through a student to reach them.
  • Learn the cultural norms of the school -i.e. what’s in, what’s not, how students think, etc.
  • Ask God to provide you with opportunities to meet students, and expect Him to lead you to students He has prepared.

A key to effectively reaching high school students is to be aware of their group orientation. When you meet a student, it’s important not only to get to know him but to find out what social, athletic, academic, or another type of group he’s in. Movement develops more naturally when we reach and mobilize natural groups of students.

PLAN AND BEGIN YOUR STRATEGY

1. Meet students with breadth in mind.

  1. The more students you meet, the greater opportunity you have for outreach. Look at your Mapping the Campus Worksheet to help you determine where you want to start meeting students. Ask your ministry coach for help in developing your plan.

2. Go where students are.

Here are some typical places to meet students:

  • School activities
  • Athletic and school events
  • Church
  • On the street where they are hanging out in the community
  • Other students’ homes
  • Assisting at school: coaching, school clubs
  • Shopping malls
  • Eating establishments

3. While talking with students it is important to:

  • Be a good listener.
  • Show an attitude of acceptance.
  • Don’t be the one doing most of the talking.
  • Ask perceptive questions about them.
  • Look for areas of common interest.

As you prepare to meet students think through some questions you could ask students.  Have these questions in your mind to help communicate that you care about the students and to help you feel more relaxed as you meet them. Here are some ideas:

  • So where are you from? Where did you grow up?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Who are your closest friends? What do you do for fun?
  • What are your favorite movies, songs, video games, etc… (Barna research says this is what teenagers spend their time doing vastly beyond anything else in life).
  • What’s your family like? Who do you live with? Do you have
  • brothers and sisters? Do you like them?

The success of these questions will depend on how you ask them, and the follow-up questions you use based on their responses.  Brainstorm some of your own questions you’d like to ask.  For questions to help you transition to the gospel see “Turning the Conversation to Christ.”

As you find opportunities to talk to teens, remember to:

  • Try to talk with them concerning what is important to them whether it be music, basketball, philosophy on life. Ask them questions about life.
  • As you talk to them figure out what they are interested in and explore those topics more deeply. Be genuinely interested.
  • Let them know they can trust you. Then you will get to know them.  As they open up to you, you will find openings into their lives where you can share Jesus with them, like Jesus did with the woman at the well in John 4.

4. Rely on students you know to help you meet others.

Ask students you know to help you meet some of their friends. As you attend school or social events, ask students to introduce you to their friends, or just casually take the initiative to meet them. Challenge students in your small groups to reach out to a group of friends with you. Ask them to host or invite students to a pizza party, ice cream, etc.

5. Make prayer a priority.

Ask God to help you meet the students He wants you to meet.

6. Meet students who attend ministry events.

Talk with every new student you can at Cru High School Meetings and school meetings and events.

7. Be creative.

Team meetings, classroom speaking, creative outreaches, pick up ball games, hanging out at kid’s homes, coaching, helping with music and drama productions, etc. – all are ways you can meet students. Much of your ministry depends upon your willingness to be available, friendly, and the take the initiative.  This way you will always be meeting new students.

8. Aim to take someone with you.

Whether it is a student you know, a friend or community member who is a partner with your ministry.

APPLICATION

  • List the students you know.
  • List some places and ways you can get to know more students, particularly through students you already know
  • With your ministry coach, develop a plan to meet and reach out to some students you want to get to know, like the football team, cheerleaders, drama students, kids in choir, etc…

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What they’re saying about Cru

Unbelievable! Several students just received Christ at an outreach. So now what? How do you respond to help a person who has just received Christ? “Follow-Up” is the answer!

What is Follow Up?

Imagine bringing your newborn baby home from the hospital. Suppose you set her in the crib and say, “Okay, Sweetie, milk is in the fridge, the bathroom is over there, and here’s the stereo if you want to hear some tunes.” Absurd! So why should we do the same to a brand new Christian, who is referred to as a “baby” in the Bible? No, it’s our responsibility to help cultivate the faith of that newborn believer.Follow-up is making sure a new Christian understands their new relationship with God.  They need to know the first steps in how to grow in their relationship with Christ and multiply their faith to others.  It is important to help them establish a habit of meeting with Christ daily and to help them live a new life of faith.

How to Start

So where do you start?

  1. Pray. Begin by praying for them (1 Thessalonians 1:2,3).  Remember that God is sovereign, which means that He has total authority in the making of His disciples (followers of Christ).
  2. Remember that God is in charge. Only God can produce growth, and He does that in many ways. The Bible talks about four ways of responding to God’s Word in Matthew 13:3-9, 14-20. Check it out! In the book of Acts, Paul spent special time with new believers, teaching and encouraging them (Acts 17-20). As a result they eventually influenced their entire region. We can help guide and encourage believers to grow, but the bottom line is that God’s the one in charge. What a relief.In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, the Bible says, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, causing the growth. So then neither the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth…For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
  3. Don’t Delay Follow-up! It is very important to begin follow-up ASAP! Beware: Satan will be attempting to discourage a student after he has received Christ. The student may have questions or doubts, so it’s good to be available to talk. Give him a call within 24-48 hours after he has received Christ and invite him to meet to talk about how his new faith is a part of everyday life. The Holy Spirit needs your availability to help lead this new believer. You will want to affirm his new relationship with Christ; set up a time to meet to talk further. You may be thinking, “But how do I start meeting with him.”? Suggest a time and place to meet (like Taco Bell, Burger King, in the school courtyard … wherever!) and let the student respond.Be flexible! Explain that you would like to share some things that will help him in his new relationship with Christ. Encourage him to bring several friends along. Meeting with a group of students who know each other is often the best method of follow-up. The students may feel more open to talk and share, and will make up a potential discipleship group for later.  Invite other students who have received Christ (through an outreach or one on one ) to join together as a group, especially if they know each other. If something happens and you can’t get together at the scheduled time, reschedule your appointment within 48 hours. Whatever you do, don’t leave that “baby” unattended!

The First Follow-Up Meeting

What do you talk about at your first follow-up meeting? The purpose of your first meeting is to build your relationship, to help these new Christians to understand the assurance of their salvation, and to help them begin to grasp God’s love for them.

  1. Personalize your time. When you get together to talk personalize your time by asking good questions.  In other words, don’t talk as much about yourself! Talk about things the students are interested in and things you may have in common, and be sure to listen! (See Turning the Conversation to Christ)
  2. Explain spiritual growth. Use your time together to explain spiritual growth (see below for topics). Show the students that there is much to learn and offer the opportunity to get together weekly, at least for the next four weeks. Asking for a short-term commitment won’t be as overwhelming to a new Christian as an open-ended “let’s meet” might be. After the first four weeks, challenge them to continue to meet for further growth together.
  3. Ask questions to gain understanding. If you are meeting with someone whom you’re not sure is a Christian, ask questions which will help you understand better where they are at spiritually, and be prepared to share the gospel with him if the student is open and willing to listen! For instance, “If you were to die tonight and see God, and he asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ What would you answer?” If the person is not 100% sure they are going to heaven, take the time to share the gospel with them to clarify things with them. (Here is an example of a gospel presentation called Knowing God Personally – also found on the God Tools app).
  4. Remember that follow-up is a process. A couple of things to remember … every young Christian will need to continue to learn from the Scriptures. We need to start at the beginning and build. Don’t try to teach everything all at once! Follow-up is a process.

Important Truths for New Christians

Here are some of the most important truths a new Christian needs to know:

  • Assurance of salvation (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Knowledge of Jesus Christ (John 20:31, Romans 10:17)
  • Forgiveness and confession of sins (Romans 5:6-9, 1 John 1:9)
  • The ministry of the Holy Spirit in his life (John 14:25-26, Ephesians 5:18)
  • Understanding his new identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

For free Bible studies you can download go to our Thrive Studies Follow up Bible Studies.. Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work! But if you have done your job well, by God’s grace your newborn friends will soon be walking, talking, and feeding themselves spiritually.  They will be on their way to becoming mature disciples of Christ!