Foster a Faith that Lasts Beyond High School

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Statistics are clear about the large percentage of students in our youth ministries who no longer attend church within just a few years of graduating from high school. Watch as Josh outlines some of the steps that he has implemented, from his 15 years experience in youth ministry, that help encourage a lasting faith in his students.

Conservative studies show that anywhere from 45–75% of the students in our youth groups are not attending church within 5 years after high school graduation, and many of them will never return.

Think about how you have personally experienced the reality behind this statistic through students you know. How have those experiences impacted the way you approach student ministry?
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Josh describes three pursuits in his ministry that help students develop a lasting faith:

  1. Partnering his students with a mentor—someone who is just ahead of their age range—who can help guide them along the way
  2. Giving apologetics training—ensuring that students "own" their faith and that they know their Bible
  3. Ensuring students have the opportunity to serve—when students serve, their faith seems to stick

Describe what a successful mentoring program might look like in the context of your student ministry. Which young men and women in your church could fill the role of mentor for your students? How might you be able to raise-up, invest-in, and equip mentors?
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Analyze how you are currently equipping your students to defend their faith. How confident are your students in their knowledge of Scripture? What steps can you take to increase the confidence your students have in their knowledge of the Bible?
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What opportunities do your students currently have to serve? How can you increase their understanding of why service is important for followers of Christ? What needs currently exist in your church or community that would be good opportunities for your students to serve?
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As Josh states at the end of his video, the work that you do as a youth worker is essential. Teenage years are a difficult time and the ministry you provide is vital in guiding students into God’s way.