It’s easy to overlook opportunities to build relationships when your a student pastor. Most of the time your so focused on your overall ministry that you forget the biggest impact you can have on a student for Jesus is in the form of a simple relationship. Students are not always looking for an event, awesome music, or even your well-prepared sermon. They are looking for relationships. A real relationship with a adult that loves them and will share their life with them. I was reminded of this simple truth the other day.
On Tuesday of last week all the schools in our area closed down due to hurricane Sandy. I saw one of the other student ministries directors at another campus of my church tweet about meeting up with some students for lunch. At that moment, it hit me. This was an opportunity to connect relationally with students. They will be out of school, have nothing to do, and are always down for some food. This was a great chance to spend a few hours with them over lunch building stronger relationships with them. But I’ll be honest, it wasn’t an easy dicision. Why? Because I had a million things to do for our “ministry” and my office was calling my name. But I made the choice that it would be more fruitful to spend a few hours with students at lunch rather than sit in my office and focus on some upcoming event. It was a good decision.
You may be wondering why I’m writing this. Is it to tell you how awesome my lunch was or how great it was to spend a few hours out of the office? No, I’m writing this to remind you that as a student pastor to not miss out on opportunities to build meaningful relationships with your students because of other “ministry” stuff. Building and investing in relationships with students is our ministry! Yes, we need to get stuff done and spend time in our office making sure our overall ministry is effective and well-done, but we must not sacrifice relationships with students. That is what our students need from us.
So next time you have an opportunity to be relational with students don’t miss it! You can afford to spend a few hours away from your office. The biggest impact you will make on a student will most likely come through a relationship you have built with them.