There is a new phrase rattling around the youth ministry world; it is new but it represents an age-old principle that has its roots in the beginnings of the church. This new phrase is SLAMM, which stands for Student Led Adult Mentored Ministry. It is being championed by groups such as Youthmark, Youth Missions International, Christian Endeavor International, and others! Frankly, it is a simple way of saying that adults mentoring and equipping students in ministry is a philosophy that works to produce students who are disciples that take an active part in the kingdom work of creating mor
This year marks a milestone in my ministry that I frankly never thought I would see. When my church graduates our seniors this year, we will be graduating a class that I met as 1st graders. As I finish my 11th year and enter my 12th here at Calvary Bible Church, I am astounded by how wonderfully blessed I have been to be a part of this family. I am also dreadfully aware that my tenure here is well outside the average for those of us in Student Ministry. In my research I have seen the average tenure of student/youth pastors is 18 to 24 months.
One of the most heartbreaking parts of being a youth minister is watching students decide to walk away from the Lord to “live it up while I am young”. Sure, sometimes students are going to make sinful decisions simply because they are human beings with a sin problem, and frankly that is something we all do. But what I am talking about is the willful decisions to set aside their Christianity so that it ceases to be an impediment to fun. It is a decision that in every case leads to consequences, baggage, and, in to many cases, a complete rejection of Christ.