You got into student ministry because you loved students and you wanted to make a difference in their lives. Thoughts of making disciples who you could build into student leaders were at the top of your priority list. If you are anything like me, you thought this was going to be the most awesome job ever! Wow! Hanging out with teenagers, leading them to follow Christ, meeting their friends and having this huge influence on them. Then reality set in. The parents of my students are demanding. The pastor thinks I have a lot of time on my hands, so he gives me every junk job there is.

When I was at my first church, I loved my pastor. He was so good to me. But some of the deacons thought we could save a few bucks by getting rid of the lawn guy and making me mow; because I made the big bucks as you know. The problem was, it was not just mowing a lawn. There was a big cemetery behind the church. Every week this had to be kept up. Because if there is ever something that needed to look nice, it was the grave sites of so many of our church members deceased families. You think I got a hard time about some of the activities our students did? Ha, nope! That was nothing compared to not mowing uncle Jesse’s grave site correctly…

Well, I soon found out that what I had imagined as the perfect job was not. I mean, there were times that it was awesome and God did great things, but man did I have to jump through hoops to get just a few wins. It seemed like every time God was up to something, Satan was there to put a wrench in it. I know now that is exactly how Satan works. His M.O. is to divide, get Christians to argue and to fuss and fight about stupid things. He keeps us busy with things that are temporal. He tells our students they are not good enough to be followers of Christ. We fight the culture, the emphasis on academics, sports teams, colleges applications and requirements to get in. It’s all overwhelming. Our student ministry becomes just another set of activities and programs. We feel like we are unproductive and spinning our wheels. Instead of making disciples of Christ and raising up student leaders, we start defining success by how many students we had at our last event.

Be alert and of sound mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When we know the devil’s M.O. we can be alert and watch for the things that trip us up. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your feet always bringing the gospel of peace.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who [b]preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15

Brad Schelling

Author Brad Schelling

Brad's passion for First Priority is how the legal side of a faith-based club at school is navigated. Solving the problem is 100% relational and 110% being above reproach with the laws of the state and district. He has been in student ministry since 1997, served as a First Priority campus coach in Sioux Falls, SD starting in 2001 and joined staff with FPoA in 2008. He helped get FP of the Great Plains (SD/IA) off the ground before moving his family to Nashville, TN in 2011 to be strategic in his work with First Priority. Brad, with his wife Erika and four children, attend Church of the City in Spring Hill. Brad is available and would be honored to speak at your church, camp, conference or event. You can get in touch with him through email at brad@fpofamerica.com

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