Five on One.
It might be how many bucks it takes to buy your favorite drink at Starbucks.
It could be Subway’s latest campaign for their sandwiches.
Or maybe it’s one of the small ways we can radically change our youth ministries.
The folks at Fuller Youth Institute are advocating that we need to rethink how many adults each student needs in order to be healthy. Often, we think in terms of what is the minimum number of adults we need to recruit to work with our students in order to have a safe and healthy ministry. A lot of us have hovered around the idea of 1 adult for every five to seven students. It’s allowed them to be known, loved, and cared for. It’s a good number.
It’s just not enough.
Chap Clark, Kara Powell, Brad Griffin and the crew at FYI are advocating we turn the number on it’s head. What if we set our ministries up so that there are five adults for every student? I’m not saying we need five small group leaders for each student. We’re talking about a youth group leader, an adopted grandma, a person from the men’s ministry, someone on the adult worship team, whatever. We just need to start thinking about how we can get five adults to surround a student, to know them, to pray for them, to listen to God’s leading for them, etc. Some might be in contact weekly, some less than that. But all five will know their student, and be tuned in to what God is doing for them.
Basically, it means that I am not the only youth pastor in the church. The amazing adults who work with our student minstries are not the only youth pastors in the church. We all become youth pastors, to one level or another. It will mean each of us invest in a student to see them become a well loved part of the church family.
Every one of us who love Jesus has had people step up and invest in us. It’s merely time for us to pass that love on to the next group coming through. It’s going to be beautiful.