As the calendar turns from 2015 to 2016, student ministry calendars will be filled with Disciple Now events. A Disciple Now (DNow) event is “a retreat at home.” I love DNows. Why?
– Disciple Now events are evangelistic
Because DNows are not as expensive as a camp or retreat, the events can be hosted at your church (or in your town) and can be accomplished with inexpensive travel and lodging. This provides more opportunities for new students to attend. Students who are engaged in your student ministry are more likely to bring a friend. Take advantage of this. Encourage them to do so. Make sure that the Gospel is presented clearly in the worship times and small group Bible study sessions.
– Disciple Now events are a springboard for discipleship
The purpose of a DNow event is to help students grow as a disciple of Christ. Be intentional. Emphasize the purpose with your leaders. A leader may connect with a student during this weekend that they would not have interaction with during the normal church schedule. Empower your leaders to continue the discipleship opportunities throughout the year.
– Disciple Now events provide an opportunity for people to serve
Student ministries love to have fun, but consider other options Saturday afternoon by scheduling a service project. This can be handled easily, such as assisting with a food bank or helping a senior citizens in your church clean up their yards.
DNows provide an opportunity for new leadership to participate in student ministry. Engage adults in your church that may not serve on a consistent basis. Use leaders to help in different levels of participation, including registration, food preparation, host homes and Bible study leaders. Involve new leadership.
My experience with Disciple Now has been awesome! (Except for the time that my toilet overflowed when my wife hosted 9th grade girls.) Seeing students trust in Christ is one of the greatest joys of being a youth pastor. Disciple Now can be a catalyst for this.
Billy Young | FBC Next Generation Ministry Catalyst, December 9, 2015