3 Reasons to guest speak at your local christian club
Charlie Y. Kang | JULY 15, 2019 | 3 MIN READ
Did you enjoy going to your school’s Christian club? I know I didn’t when I was in high school. We sang the same song every week. There was no schedule. We had a volunteer youth pastor who was nice, but I can’t remember anything else about him. The irony of it all is that now I’m that hopefully nice youth pastor that goes to schools to speak and that nobody probably remembers. Even though I’ve been this forgotten man the past 10 years, I’d like to encourage you to be a part of your school’s Christian club if you’re a youth minister or leader. Here’s why.
Brings You Into Your Student’s World
Just like any sports team, we can’t always play in front of the home crowd. Sometimes, we got to play away. That means entering their world, complete with rolly backpacks (if you go to a middle school) and a highly stratified-mini society on display in the school cafeteria. Many of us can vaguely remember what going to junior high or high school was like, but we tend to forget the painful, uncomfortable aspects of school. This means a visit to the school is a refresher course.
We can see the world that they’re coming from and find more empathy and discern more idols when we physically are present with them. We can speak about the sins of youth culture without sounding tone-deaf or judgmental. How many times have we been caricatured and felt talked down to or misunderstood? How did that make us feel? Probably not great, and yet, are we doing that with our students? In our desire to rebuke for the name of Christ, does it come from a place of arrogance or understanding?
Going to the local Christian club gives us a perspective of our students that we could never get simply from talking to our students on Sunday when they bring out their “Sunday best.” We need to enter their world, and Christian club gives us that opportunity.
Gives Your Church the Opportunity to Serve
A special blessing I’ve received from volunteering at Christian clubs was that it gave me the opportunity to connect the school with our local church. We’ve been able to partner together with local Christian clubs and encourage the groups with food, Bibles, and gospel tracts.
For the past 4 years, our church has had the opportunity to host a Korean BBQ lunch at our local Christian club, in which we’ve invited members of our church to serve the students who came to Christian club that day. Suffice to say, plenty of hungry mouths have come to Christian club to eat Korean food, listen to me platform the Christian club, and hear the Gospel. At the minimum, the students leave full but our church members always leave encouraged. that they got the opportunity for gospel ministry in a place outside of church.
As pastors or youth teachers, we can give our local churches the opportunity to serve in a context that they couldn’t reach on their own. We can function as the mediator, connecting church finances, service, and prayer, to the special leaders and teachers God has placed to host Christian clubs on campus.
Christian clubs often have no budget nor do they take offering. But if every church were to adopt one Christian club near them, I believe God would be able to do so many awesome things for the sake of the Gospel. The local church cannot barge into a government-funded institution and do whatever they want. Therefore we pastors need to be the bridge that helps connect our local church to our local Christian club.
Models Our Obedience to the Gospel
To be honest, I don’t think volunteering at Christian club has helped my youth ministry very much, if at all. If it was specifically for that, I think I would’ve stopped a long time ago. However, I continue to volunteer at Christian club because I want to be an obedient disciple of Christ.
As a youth pastor, I have the distinct privilege and opportunity to be invited to go into a secular setting and preach to students who may have never heard before. I walk back amazed to hear how many non-Christians were present at the Christian club.
I think many of us presume that only Christians would go to Christian club but I’ve met all sorts of students during my time there. Some are from other religions who are curious about Christianity but would never step into a church. Others are irreligious people who are there because they’re hanging out with their friends later. Maybe there will be the awkward or shy student who is just looking for any place to belong.
These students may never come out to our churches, but they will come out to Christian club. We can therefore be speaking to a demographic who would never step foot in a church and thus, we have the opportunity to be the first ones to preach the Gospel to them.
I go to Christian club not because it enhances my church’s youth group, but because of my commitment to Christ to make disciples of all nations. If we ever wonder why our students aren’t evangelizing, maybe it’s because we’re not evangelizing ourselves.
Many of the Christian clubs that I’ve worked with are desperate for faithful, Gospel-centered preachers who will correctly divide the Word for their Christian club. So I encourage you to pray through this opportunity to reach the youth for the sake of Christ. It will be uncomfortable. It will definitely be awkward. But in eternity, it will definitely be worth it.
Charlie Y. Kang is a youth pastor at Good Stewards Church in West Covina, CA where he has been serving for seven years. He has his m. Div from Talbot School of Theology and is an ordained minister with the KPCA (Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad). He is happily married to his wife Angela and is a proud father to his spunky two-year old daughter, Allison. In his free time, he loves to spend time with his family, go surfing, and getting his heart broken by his two favorite sports teams (Arsenal FC/LA Clippers).