What We've Learned
What is your vision for your ministry leadership team?
The why behind CF Students is to Reach students far from God and teach them how to follow Jesus step by step.
Can you give us a general picture of your weekly and monthly student programming?
All of our gatherings are planned several weeks or months in advance during a weekly creativity meeting involving our Student Leadership team. Most of the time, we operate in series. One series can last anywhere from three to six weeks, and every so often we have stand-alone messages. We always do special series around the holidays, Christmas and Easter especially.
What role do small groups have in your regular programming?
Small groups are vital to our ministry. We believe that our ministry will rise and fall based on Small Groups. Our goal at CF Students is for every volunteer to one day be a Small Group leader, and for every student to one day be in a Small Group. Community is essential for our students grow in their relationship with Jesus.
How do you organize, design, and structure your small groups?
Our Small groups happen on Sunday morning during our 9:30AM service. Small groups are gender-specific and made up of students in the same grade. We strive for a 1-to-7, leader-to-student ratio.
What do you do when a small group grows too big to allow for good conversation and relationship building?
Usually when a small group grows beyond the desired ratio, we bring in a co-leader to learn and lead alongside the current small group leader. After a few weeks, when the leader feels comfortable and has had some time to start building relationships with the students, the group multiplies into two. Typically, the dividing line falls pretty naturally based on existing friendships within the group.
What kind of follow-up structure do you have for new students who attend a program for the first time?
Every student that attends for the first time goes to our VIP room after the gathering. The vision cast to those volunteers is to build relationships with these first-time students because relationships are the primary thing that bring students back and keep them coming back.
The VIP Room volunteer that talks to the first-timer writes them a postcard at the end of the night that is mailed out the following day so that they will receive it early the next week. The postcard essentially says that the volunteer was glad to meet them and includes something from the conversation they had. It then invites the student back to CF Students with a phrase along the lines of, "I can't wait to see you at CF Students next Week!"
Our goal is to take each student out of the role of spectator and make them a participant. The primary way we do that is by creating an enjoyable, fun environment, and by building relationships. That way, they take what would be simple moments and make real memories at CF Students.
What are the main roles adult volunteers have in your student ministry?
The majority of our adult volunteers are adults (people who have graduated high school). They serve in a variety of roles: check-in, greeting, snack bar, care, and room volunteers. Others serve as small group leaders and grade leaders (volunteers that lead other volunteers as small group leaders).
What are some of the ways students are encouraged to serve?
First, we point students to the Bible and show them that Jesus came to serve. If we're trying to be like Him, we will serve others too. Additionally, we point them to examples of servants in their lives and point out that the volunteers and small group leaders they love so much are taking time out of their lives to serve. On a Sunday, students have the opportunity to serve in KidJAM, some production, or as greeters and facility cleaners with our Guest Services teams. Students also are given a chance to serve during our Wednesday night programming in various capacities including check in, production, games, worship and others.