The Balancing Act

In our last post, we talked about the importance of rhythm and balance when dealing with events and process within a missional student ministry.  In this post I want to lay out how we integrate that rhythm and balance.  We would love to see how you integrate this rhythm and balance into your ministry, as well.

At RiverTree, our mission is to Come, Thrive, and GO.  To Come into God’s presence via scripture, prayer, worship, etc.  To Thrive in community with those around you.  To GO into the world and serve/love.  We see Jesus modeling these 3 dimensions as we read through the Gospels.  Therefore, we ask those we lead to do the same.  Furthermore, we build our ministries around this balance.

Ultimately, in everything we do with students, we want them to become more like Christ.  Since we see Jesus, in different circumstances throughout the Gospels, Come into His Father’s presence, Thrive in community with those around Him, and GO into the world, we try to integrate this into our student ministry.

I’ll just use our high school GoCos (missional communities) as the example for how we go about bringing balance into our missional student ministry.  Each of our high school GoCos are on a general 4 week rotation:

  • Week 1 – Come week – the night is more focused on coming into God’s presence through individual prayer, times of worship, and discussion based on what the scriptures for the evening are speaking to us.
  • Week 2 – Thrive week – this night generally has a meal and discussion as the focal point for the night.  There’s something about gathering around a meal that brings people together and discussion happen naturally.
  • Week 3 – GO week – as a GoCo we go out and serve in our local community.
  • Week 4 – Large Group – this is where we bring all of our GoCos together for an event of some kind and celebrate what God has been doing with each other.  This can look like a weekend retreat, renting a sports dome and playing games, lasertag, having a cookout, etc.

We have found that this brings a solid balance between growing as a community, helping students to see their school as their mission, allowing students to include their friends in GoCo, creating opportunities for events and shared experiences, as well as, creating time to process what God is speaking into the students’ lives.

This is how we balance dimensions of events and process.  We would love to hear how God is working in your ministry and what you are doing to bring some of this balance into the ministry!

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4 thoughts on “The Balancing Act

  1. I’m a part-time student minister in TN and am seeking to involve my youth in service on a more regular basis. Could you please share what some of your weekly service projects (for lack of a better term) have been? Do you have on ongoing or recurring projects, or is it different every week? Thanks!

  2. Judson, thanks for the question. We value the relationship in everything we do in our ministry. When we go and serve somewhere, our GoCos try and serve at a similar location – to develop the relationship. One of the high school Jackson community GoCos has developed a relationship with a local assisted living home. About once a month their whole GoCo will go to this assisting living home and help with decorations, or spend time with the residents, or do more behind the scenes stuff that needs to get done.

    Another one of our Jackson GoCos has adopted a couple high school girls from Mexico that they are helping to support through high school. So, they will often right letters, send gifts, and do various fundraisers for these 2 girls. And in March we take an intergenerational missions trip to San Luis Rio, Mexico, where the girls are from, which gives the students the opportunity to see them.

    Our GoCo in Northwest is in more of a smaller community so what they have been doing is getting involved with community events – such a fairs and school activities where help is needed.

    The consistent serving for our GO weeks has helped in the relational piece in great ways! Even though we only GO about once a month it has still been making a big difference in our students and hopefully in the communities in some way.

    Now, the ultimate call we have had is to encourage students to be missional in how they serve and pray for those around them – those at their school. I would read a few of our posts on how and why we do this:
    https://gocommunities.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/mission-impossible/
    https://gocommunities.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/f-to-the-w-to-the-o/
    https://gocommunities.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/5-ways-to-build-a-go-environment/

    Hope that helps a little bit Judson. Please keep us updated on how things are going! Also, feel free to ask us anymore questions and we will try our best to answer them for you.

  3. Pingback: Whoops…Try Again | Your Life Is Your Mission

  4. Pingback: This Isn’t a DIY Project | Your Life Is Your Mission

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