Almost daily I reflect on a dream for multitudes of students rising as champions for Jesus Christ in “this” generation. Recently, my heart chased the following.
Here are six standards to help a multitude of students rise up as champions for Christ:
1. Offer a secondary-student leadership university. Why should we wait to develop student leaders through an intentional school system of leadership until after they graduate from high school? The second greatest influence on any given student is their peer. What if that peer was like one of the Twelve? The apostle John was only 14 years old when he entered Jesus’ leadership school.
2. Build on cornerstones proven successful. In the book, Souls In Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, studies identified four anchors in students that transition from the youth world to the young adult world.
· High student value of faith. (Set the example high…more like Jesus than Judas or even one of the other Eleven.)
· Frequent prayer and Bible reading. (Highly value Biblical attitudes and actions…profile right patterns.)
· Many student religious experiences. (Take them into ministry.)
· High parental (spiritual parent) religious attendance and faith. (Mentoring works.)
3. Give working concentration to quality fruit. The call is not to just produce fruit, but “fruit that will last.” (John 15:16 NIV) This requires quality preparation, planting, fertilization, watering of the Spirit and timeliness.
4. Establish an evangelism center. Perhaps the most powerful evangelism tool we can give today’s student is one seen. Let them see evangelism in every worship service. Let them see and hear the testimonies. Evangelism isn’t just in a prayer. Evangelism is leading one to Jesus. It may be as simple as a place to bring a friend to meet Jesus. In our vision for evangelism, “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26 NKJV)
5. Empower special ministry ops. When heavy spiritual lifting is required, the need demands spiritually strong students. In the military special operations teams are developed for the size of the task. What if we had special ministry ops equipped to take a stand in their faith, on their campus or with their leaders? Such teams could be in the arts, evangelism, service, responsibility, prayer, etc. Imagine the load that could be lifted for this generation. Imagine the load that would be lifted in leadership alone.
6. Model endurance and overcoming. How many students stop short because they failed to endure? How many young believers failed to overcome because they thought it impossible? When muscles are stretched they strengthen. When faith is challenged it grows. Nonetheless, both can be painful. Never forget, “the TESTED genuineness of your faith [is] more precious than gold.” (James 1:7 ESV)
All six standards (and more) are shaped in the FIRE Institute. (Wink)