We believe that God is For, With, and One Of people. In a previous post on here, Mission Vision, we touched on how there needs to be 2 mission statements within missional student ministry – one for the leaders and one for the students and that has to do directly with this idea of For, With, and One Of.
Let me break down the idea of God being For, With, and One Of people:
- First of all, God is For People. God created humans in his image (Gen. 1) and God said after creation that all was good. He is For people. He loves his creation – people.
- Now, in the Old Testament we get examples of where God is With people as well. All through the second chapter of Genesis God talks with Adam and Eve, He wrestles with Jacob (Gen. 32), He appears before Moses in a burning bush (Exod. 3), He walks and talks with the prophets, and the list goes on. God is With people.
- In the New Testament, God changes up history forever by sending Christ on earth. God, up to this point, has been For people and With people, but now, through sending Christ, God became One Of us! By sending Christ, God “moved into the neighborhood” (The Message) and became One Of us. Therefore, God is For us, God is With us, and through Christ, has become One Of us.
Let me lay this out for a missional student ministry:
As leaders, we are For students. We love students and we want students to thrive in their journey with Christ. As leaders, we are also With students. We talk with them, we open our lives up to them, we hang with them, etc. But here’s the kicker – WE CANNOT FULLY BE “ONE OF” THE STUDENTS! It’s just not possible. We are no longer students. This is why it is so important for us, as leaders, to be extremely relational with students and to disciple them.
Even though we cannot be One Of the students….guess what?…the students ARE One Of their peers and other students around them. This is why we need to equip students to GO to other students around them and make disciples. If our students are For other students, With other students, and One Of other students, then we can equip them to go love other students in Christ’s name. Students can reach and connect with other students in a way that we, as leaders, simply can’t because we are not One Of the students.
When this takes place within your student ministry – it changes everything! It has to! Disciples are being made.