Pastoring students in a school of supernatural ministry can be complex. Given the accelerated nature of a school environment and the increased amount of time spent going deep with students, there are always obstacles to face as a pastor. A question we frequently receive from school leaders is, “How do I pastor my students in revival?” Our goal is to answer that question through this post!
Here are three keys to pastoring students in revival. We pray this post blesses you as you continue to pour into the hearts of your students!
1. Make Connection to Love the Goal
Pastoring students in a school of supernatural ministry begins and ends with the love of God. Apart from the Father’s love, there can be no sustainable growth inside students’ lives. Your goal as a pastor is to connect your students to the heart of God, regardless of what they are going through.
When you know that your goal is to connect students to God’s love, it will become easy to do so. We encourage you to discuss this goal with your leadership team, asking, “What does it look like to connect students to God’s love? What do we need to do to make that the goal of everything we do?” Also, communicate with your students that your goal is connection to the love of God. This clear direction with help create strong expectations for students and a culture that is focused on God’s love.
When students’ hearts get reconnected to love, they hear the voice of a good Father who is full of joy, healing, and forgiveness. It’s in these moments where their hearts will respond to His goodness. God’s love is the most powerful entity on the planet, and lasting breakthrough and transformation only come from Him.
2. Go After the Roots
Now that your goal is set, it’s time to jump in! As a pastor, you will surely face all kinds of different scenarios while helping students navigate their hearts. Remember, we are all human, in process, and in need of help. So what can you do to be as effective as possible when pastoring students?
For a long time in the church, pastoring has looked like behavior management, where we simply tell people, “Stop it,” when they struggle with sin. However, the key to pastoring students successfully is to identify the root issues in their lives.
Imagine an orange tree, and the fruit of the tree represents sin in students’ lives. When we tell students, “Stop it,” in response to sin, we basically say to them, “Pick the oranges from the tree and throw them on the ground.” Students begin the process of removing the oranges, but the oranges keep growing because the roots were not pulled up. This is when hopelessness can set in; students hear “stop it,” but don’t know how and fruit keeps appearing despite their efforts.
The first thing you have to do when pastoring students in revival is decide that you will not become distracted, intimidated, or overwhelmed by sin.
Remember, Jesus suffered every temptation as a man and therefore understands the depths of our human condition (Hebrews 4:15). He paid the price for all sin, meaning there is nothing your students’ are facing that His blood cannot conquer!
Next, your job is to forget about the oranges and uproot the tree. Instead of focusing on sin (the “oranges”), start to ask students’ bigger-picture questions about their lives to get to the root of the problem. What needs do they have that aren’t being met? What pain do they have that hasn’t been processed? What brokenness do they have that hasn’t been healed? Go after the roots in people’s lives with the confidence that once you uproot the orange tree, you’ll never have an orange issue again.
3. Be Present with Your Students
Now that you’ve made connection to love your goal and have set your sights on the root issues in student’s lives, the rest becomes simple; your job as a pastor is to be present with your students.
As pastors in a supernatural environment, we love seeing results. We love the moments of breakthrough that occur in students’ lives. We love hearing the testimonies of how God is bringing transformation to individuals and their families. We should love those moments and let them encourage our hearts. However, to equate pastoring students in revival to seeing breakthrough is a mistake.
So much of pastoring is about listening, being patient, persistent, and long-suffering. It’s about being present with students in their pain and showing them love in their weakness.
Breakthroughs come and go, but a strong relationship with your students through the good times and bad is what will set you apart as a pastor in revival.
We want to encourage you to take time to understand and get to know who your students truly are. Then, you will be able to notice when they aren’t being themselves and will have great opportunities to lead them to freedom. We encourage you to never rush the process or allow yourself to have an agenda with students. Instead, trust Holy Spirit’s leading, be present, and love your students along the journey. You will see God do more than you could have imagined!
To learn more about pastoring students in revival, watch this from Abi Stumvoll.