One of my favorite things to do here on my blog is write about practical student ministry stuff. A lot of the stuff I may write is not new to student pastors, but I hope it is good practical advice and reminders on how to minister to students better. With that being said, I want to provide a few reasons why student pastors should try to attend their students sporting activities.
First, let me explain why I am writing this and why I see it as important. Today I went to watch two guys, that are in my small group on Wednesday nights, play basketball. They both had a game at the local rec center and I wanted to go to support them and build a better relationship with them. It was a great few hours and I believe my relationships with those two students got stronger. Now here is three reasons why I believe every student pastor needs to make an effort to attend their students sporting events.
1. Build a better relationship with the student. A huge part of student ministry is building relationships with students which allows you to influence them and speak truth into their life. What a better way to show them you care and want to have a relationship with them than taking time out of your day to watch them participate in a sport they love. Just the presence of you there supporting and watching them will give you a stronger relationship with that student.
2. Build a better relationship with their parents. This is probably the biggest reason. You spend a lot of time with the students and not enough time with the parents. Going to a students sporting activity will allow you to sit with the parents and build a better relationship with them. Student pastors need to understand and realize their ministry is not just to the students, it’s also to the parents. I would go as far as to say, it is primarily to the parents because they are the ones held responsible for their students spiritual growth. Today I was able to sit with the mom of the students, they were brothers, and got to get to know her better. I have a stronger relationship with that parent now and that is a big part of student ministry.
3. Connect and meet other students. If you go to a sporting event of one of your students you will always have a chance to meet and connect with other students. Honestly, I did not do this today, but wish I would had made an effort to do so. I hope next time I am in the situation I will. Student pastors, there are students who will NEVER step foot inside your church or youth room and unless you go to where they are and reach them no one ever will. That is why going to a sporting event of one of your students is a great place to reach other students.
As I said earlier, this is not anything new that student pastors may not already know, but I hope this is some practical advice that will help you minister to students better. As student pastors and student ministry workers, we need to connect and minister to our student outside of the normal youth group time, attend one of their sporting events to build a better relationship with them, build a better relationship with their parents, and reach other students while your there.