Post by: Garrison Polsgrove
Youth Discipleship Pastor at Shepherd Church

1. Students will like you

In student ministry it is difficult to find ways to judge your effectiveness. However, judging your effectiveness by the level of excitement students express when they see you is not one of them. In fact, having likability as a goal will cause you tolerate disrespect and ultimately ruin your credibility as an influencer. Students do not want another friend who gets his or her approval from their fickle emotional responses; students want a secure mentor who knows his or her position in Christ. It is totally fine and normal for a student you are mentoring not to talk to you with the same excitement level they posses with their friends. As long as they are showing up and looking you in the eyes while you listen and talk…you’re good. Work to make a difference, not a friend.

2. It will always be rewarding

Get ready for the long car rides home asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?!” I have made ministry my vocation and I still drive home on various nights thinking that selling insurance would be more rewarding (No offense to insurance brokers). I question my involvement when I start to treat the practice of mentoring as if it were a business where output is proportional to input. False! I wish it were that easy. However, ministry is about exercising faithfulness to fulfill a calling not satisfying a balance sheet; save the profit/loss bottom lines for the executives. Success in student ministry volunteering is measured by the amount of times you say, “Yes,” to the Holy Spirit’s calling to show up and give of yourself. A volunteer does not determine his or her success by quantifying data given by their group but rather by questioning the faithfulness of their sacrificial involvement invoked by a calling given by Christ.