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How to Leverage More Opportunities in Student Ministry

Think back to the last big game you watched. Maybe it was a football game with the season on the line or a basketball game with huge implications. No matter what sport you’re into, after any big game there are always postgame interviews with the winning players. And they all say nearly the same thing every time: “We’ve worked really hard this week preparing for this game, and I’m really proud of how we all came together to make it happen. We had a strategy and we executed well today.” Sounds pretty familiar, right?

You know what you never hear players say? “I don’t really know how we won. I just showed up today, ate a Big Mac, walked out on the field, and we ended up winning.” There’s a reason you don’t hear players say this; it doesn’t happen. You don’t win a big game by accident.

And the reality is, what happens on the field or on the court during a game is just a fraction of what enables a team to win. Studying film, designing plays, running drills . . . it all adds up; it’s all important.

The same is true for your student ministry. If you want your student ministry to win, it’s not going to happen by accident. Students don’t accidentally grow in their relationship with Jesus. It just doesn’t happen.

And like winning a big game, there’s a lot more that goes into a student’s growing faith than what happens on stage. What happens in small group, what happens at home, what parents are saying, and what students are experiencing on Monday morning . . . it all matters and has an impact on a student’s relationship with Christ.

We know this intuitively. But preparing for what happens on stage often demands so much of our time that we unintentionally neglect other areas and opportunities to invest in our students. We simply don’t have the margin to think about what a parent is saying to their kid or how we can make small group conversations better.

“I have too much time on my hands,” said no one working in student ministry ever.

The truth is, if we’re going to leverage every opportunity to impact the life of a student and not just leverage what happens on stage—what we currently have the margin for—then we’re going to need a new strategy.

How XP3 Helps

XP3 isn’t just a curriculum that provides great messages for student pastors. It’s a comprehensive strategy designed to help you leverage every opportunity to impact the life of student. How? By equipping your student pastor with more of what they need most: time and tools.


What does the average student pastor spend most of their time on? Writing messages, brainstorming stage designs, thinking up small group questions, searching for game ideas . . . the list goes on. But what if all of that was already taken care of? That’s XP3.


But XP3 doesn’t stop there. When your student pastor has more time on their plate, now there’s margin to leverage what happens off stage. Coaching small group leaders, partnering with parents, connecting with students throughout the week . . . all of it becomes more realistic. And we believe so much in the power of what happens off stage that we equip student pastors with the tools to make that happen, too. Weekly small group leader devotionals, Parent Cue guides for parents, and pre-made daily social media posts for connecting with students are just a few of the tools provided. And it’s all strategically designed to help leverage every opportunity to influence the lives of your students.

You’ve never heard a student pastor say, “I’m not really sure how we led our students to Christ. I just got on stage and it happened.” That’s because influence doesn’t happen accidentally. The flip side of that statement is also true: You’ll influence a student’s relationship with Jesus when you’re intentional. In other words, when you have a strategy and you execute that strategy, over time it leads to influence. And influence leads to impact. And impact leads to life-change. That’s what a real win looks like in student ministry.

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