Public School Ministries

Teens Are in Schools—Will You Go to Them?

When I was a youth pastor, I mailed a letter to every principle and coach in the junior and senior high schools. I wanted an open door. I told them that I worked with teens in the city and some of our members attended their schools.

I offered my services in the following ways:

  • Guest lecture in humanities class
  • Speak on club day
  • Counsel
  • Eat lunch with students and visit
  • Pray before ball games
  • Work with troubled students
  • Speak on spirit days
  • Yard duty

You may also want to begin fellowship of Christian Athletes Club for the school. Ours usually met before school, before practice or immediately after practice. I had open access to the bench during games. I took what I could get.

All the athletic leaders in the school knew me, and if you win the leaders, the followers follow suit. We had two-hundred athletes in one school in our club and sixty got saved in one meeting. I would speak or bring in guest Christian athletes in the area to testify. It was electrifying! Rarely could I walk through the mall without an athlete greeting me by name. As I got school year books, I often saw my picture in them.

I mailed forty-four letters and had seven schools respond. Those seven schools kept me busy for years-those prospects never ran out. Some schools also had a student directory of addresses available that we could visit during teen soulwinning.

I would always abide by the principal’s rules. If he said that I needed a pass or name tag to visit, I always obliged. Most principals thrilled at free volunteer. Many of the teens became an active member in our church youth group, and many of those would never have been reached without going on campus.

Are you on the campus of your schools? Have you tried? You’re a missionary. They’re the mission field. There’s a Macedonian call, “Come over and help us.” Build rapport with the principal so he doesn’t think you’re exploiting the students. Get into some schools for the long haul.

Excerpted from Basic Training for Sunday School Teachers by Mike Ray

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