You know the story. Your students come home from camp after making one–or several–great decisions involving life change, but soon, they often begin struggling to keep their commitments. I am not one who doubts the genuineness of those decisions, but I do get frustrated when there is no plan set in place to help them live their decisions out. As a youth leader, the best thing you can do is have a plan to help your students as they come home from camp. Here are three questions you can ask your students that will help them keep their spiritual fire hot.
1. What is one discipline you are going to implement in your life to help you grow spiritually?
Don’t allow your students to commit to too much. Instead, help them determine a single spiritual discipline that will help them to grow. They can add more as they establish one. A great example of this is a daily quiet time. If you have a student who recognizes that they need to spend more time in God’s word, get them a tool to help them do this. Here are some great options!
2. Who is going to keep you accountable to the commitment(s) you have made?
Everyone needs accountability when they are trying to implement a new discipline. This accountability could be from another student or a small group leader. They need someone who will regularly check in on their progress, offer encouragement along the way and be willing to go on the journey with them.
3. Who are you going to share the gospel with?
Were your students challenged to share their faith at camp? Have them give you at least one name of a friend or family member that they are going to share their faith with. “But my students aren’t ready to share their faith.” Have you ever said that? I know I used to! But, the truth is, if we wait until they are ‘ready,’ it will never happen. Encouraging students to share their faith ought to be one of the first things we do. Sharing their faith will put your students in a position where they know they need to grow and mature spiritually, plus, it will drive them to prayer and the scriptures. As they begin to share their faith, they will recognize that they desperately need to grow to be effective.
If you can get your students to answer these three questions after camp, I believe you will see their decisions stick. This generation is primed and ready to impact their world for Christ. Let’s do everything we can to help them!
Brian has been in youth ministry for 23 years. He is passionate about communicating truth to young people and the leaders that work with them. Brian loves to play, watch and talk about all kinds of sports. He and his wife Lynn have three awesome teenagers and live in upstate, NY.