General Ministry
Josh Griffin

Unlike our students, I’m really excited for the school year to start.  This semester, I get the chance to help shape the way our ministry does campus outreach.  Of course, this means we get to throw some pretty awesome events (i.e. tailgate parties!), but we wanted our ministry’s outreach and involvement to be more than that.

Our ministry is made up of (mostly) 5 VERY different schools, and we wanted to make sure that we ministered to each campus accordingly.  The problem is that, as adults, there is only so much we can know about a school.  We only know what we are told, making it hard for us to correctly identify the school’s individual needs and effectively meet them.  Because of that, we are trying something brand new this year, School Teams.

The vision for School Teams is to have a group of students at each campus who love their school and are committed to meeting its unique needs.  We want them to unify and empower the Body of Christ at their school to not just sit together in their own clique, but to go out to serve and evangelize.  This could be anything from a campus clean-up event, to a freshmen cookie party on the first day of school.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

These students will be our “go-to” people for each school.  This means a couple things for them.  It means that if we ever have a new student in our ministry that isn’t involved or connected at their school yet, we introduce them to a school team member who will make them feel welcome on their campus.  The second meaning of being a “go-to” is that they are letting us know about important news updates at their school.  If there school is doing a food drive, we want to know about it! How great would it be to help empower a school to collect food for a local homeless shelter?  Our students would also let us know about any tragedies at their school.  It would be awesome if, after service, a school got together to pray for a classmate or faculty member.

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Even though we are creating special teams for each school, we still encourage ALL of our students to love their school and be a light at it.  School Teams are just our ministry’s way of ministering to schools through ministering students.

We presented this to our Student Leadership team and gave them the opportunity to apply for it.  We used an application for this because it allows us to see their heart for their school and it shows the level of commitment they have for the program.  Here’s a copy of the application for our ministry’s School Team you can download right here.

How about you, what do are you doing this next school year to minister to your local schools?

Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Coordinator at Saddleback HSM.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at coltonharker@gmail.com or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.

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  • Elizabeth M. says:


    I’m intrigued by the idea of school teams, especially as a way for you to connect new students to the youth group and help students learn how to intentionally minister in their communities. My question, though, is how this plays out for those who attend less popular schools or are homeschooled? When I was in high school I went to a less-popular school outside of my church’s region. At a (poorly conceived, never repeated) youth rally in my area, the speaker had us divide into groups based on school to consider how we could minister in our contexts. I was the only one at the rally from my school, and I ended up feeling really left out.

    It sounds like your plan is a lot more well thought out than this. I like the idea of forming school-based teams, but I’ve hesitated to pull the trigger because of my own poor experience in this area. What would you recommend for involving students from the less-popular schools?

  • Colton says:

    Within our Student Leadership Program (the students that are applying for School Teams), there are several students that are either home schooled or go to a small school. I encouraged all of the students (including those that aren’t a part of the big schools) to apply. Some school teams are larger than others and, like you experienced, some just have one. But it is important for the solo students to know that they aren’t alone, that you have their back and are ready to walk through it with them. I am so encouraged by the students that sign up for school teams knowing that they will be the only one for their school. I think it shows a fire and a passion for their school and it is my job to help guide that passion into action. If they are ready to go all in, so am I.

  • Colton says:

    Follow up:

    I am all for the small schools because I believe that they can make a difference at every campus. All of the things we want done at the big schools (serving, community, evangelism, connection, etc.) need to be done at the less popular schools as well.

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