January 4, 2023
Spiritual Growth in Students
October 7, 2020 | Leah Lynch
I would be okay if it was a really long time before I ever heard the word virus again. Anyone else? Nevertheless, I know God continues to do some incredible work during this season. As such, how can we help leverage this focus on sickness to point our students to Jesus? Let’s begin by talking about spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth has an element of control, while some other types of growth have limitations. This is especially true for our students. The preteen and teenage years are chock-full of different types of growth, many of which they can’t control—physical growth, hormone changes, brain development, just to name a few. Ready or not, here they come, right? But, spiritual growth, that is a choice.
If something matters to our students, they invest in it. Whether it is social media, video games, athletics, academics, or their cell phones, they give it their time, energy, and focus. Spiritual growth requires an investment. It requires intentionality. Simply put, if our students choose not to grow their spiritual health, they won’t have it.
So, let’s ask a hard question. What happens when our students are not actively engaged in their spiritual growth? We see them making choices that foster a dependence on self rather than God. They choose to prioritize other things over their relationship with Jesus and owning their faith. Those choices then create the illusion that they don’t need God. Over time, this leads to a fallout of faith and a void that only God can fix. But, without a belief in God, students become very hard-pressed to let Him in long enough to fix it.
If we aren’t well, we say we are sick. When we are sick, we make choices that are going to help make us well. It’s the same with our faith. There are things we need to help us grow. We need time in God’s Word and in prayer. We need time in community with other believers. Our students are no different.
For our students, spiritual sickness occurs when they aren’t getting what they need to grow. As a student ministry team, pouring into students is something we absolutely want and love to do! But we also know that most of a student’s spiritual growth happens beyond the church building. Yes, we have opportunities for your students to learn and grow in community with others. Yes, we truly want to see them involved because of the growth we know can happen, but as parents, you still have a huge and much-needed influence in their lives. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you do.
We are here to be your cheerleader. You’ve got this.
Invest in what matters. Invest in your relationship with them. Invest in their spiritual growth. Invest in the opportunities that will help them own their faith and have a real relationship with Jesus.
We’re also here to be a part of your team. You don’t have to do it alone.
Even in the hard, God isn’t done working. As parents and ministry leaders, we not only have a front-row seat to God’s work in the lives of our kids and students, we have the opportunity to be actively involved in that work. Let’s not miss it. Let’s make it a priority to point them to Jesus any way we can.