I live in Jefferson, Georgia, and am willing to relocate.Sign in to contact Phillip Nathan
I would like to work in…
- Youth / Student Ministry
- Administration / Coordination
- Assistant/Associate pastor
- Children's Ministry
- Family Ministry
- Young Adult / College Ministry
- Miscellaneous / Other
I would like to work at a…
- Assembly of God church
- Baptist church
- Non-denominational church
Phillip Nathan's résuméLast updated
I am a passionate follower of Jesus Christ with a desire to use my calling to reach the today's youth and help them develop a deeper authentic faith in our Lord.
Current Seminary student, 4.0 GPA
Multi-year student ministry volunteer and student small group leader
Received a clear and concise call from God to preach to/lead students
Gwinnett Hall Baptist College, current B.B.E. student 4.0 GPA
Deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ
Extensive knowledge of the unwavering Word of God
Enthusiasm and burdened heart for today's youth
Strong leadership skills and discpline
A decade (or more) ago, parent's came to church and brought their children. As the sanctuary began to fill up, the student
ministry would grow as a result. That is no longer the case. The formula has been reversed. More and more parents are
not attending church of their own volition, and those that do are increasingly making it optional for their middle and high
school aged children to attend any youth programs. The new trend, that is quickly becoming the norm, for our society
is that when the student ministry grows, our students bring their parents along with them.
We see the trends, so problem solved right? Not so fast. With the increasing role of smart phones, social media and
schedules for teenagers that rival even the busiest adult’s, student ministry has taken a huge hit across the country, many
churches have turned to competing entertainment and distraction as a way to entice the younger generations into
attending their designated services. The biggest flaw in this system is that often times, once the students get there,
there is only a superficial message presented that never challenges authentic faith or a deeper discipleship within this
Authentic faith should be the goal of any successful student ministry. A staggering nearly 50% of students who enter
college as a professed Christian will walk away from their faith by graduation. That is not coincidental, and more importantly
it is avoidable. We tend to focus so much on numbers and entertainment in our student ministry that we allow so many
to slip through the cracks in their deep faith in the things of Christ. Our responsibility to these students is to disciple them
and bring them into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, authentic faith. Its not about butts in seats, its about
souls in heaven!
That sounds great, but how is that accomplished? Before all else, an immense amount of prayer and leaning on the Lord’s direction is essential. It is through that avenue alone that the concepts and outline listed here have so burdened my heart:
I. SMALL GROUPS are the key to open and honest relationships between our students and each other as well as our youth leaders. Small groups give more detailed attention to subject matter and the unwavering word of God. They introduce a vetted and trained volunteer into our student’s life that doesn’t have a flashy pastoral title and gives them a voice into their lives and ears to listen to them.
II. SHOWING UP randomly and predictably in the lives of our students is huge. In a world that has seen depression and suicide at an all time high in teenagers, they need to know that someone cares about them more than just one evening a week, during service. It is the job, and privilege, of the student pastor and small group leaders to show up at a school lunch from time to time, a sporting event, school play, or even through a text message to let them know they are valuable and important.
III. PARTNERING with parents may be the most forgotten aspect of student ministry in this era. Once we establish a voice into the lives of our students, we should be encouraging proper responses and open communication with their parents. We also need to make sure the parents know who we are and that we are a resource for the whole family, not just the student. Parents need to constantly be informed as to what is happening with our youth program so that they can be actively involved in the life and ministry of their student.
IV. DISCIPLESHIP is a word that is used in a lot of churches today. We need to move beyond grade school VBS stories and dig deeper into the truths found in God’s word and how we can practically apply it to our lives. This includes unpacking the hard truths of scripture without apprehension and allowing God to speak openly on traditionally taboo subjects like sex, drugs, social media, pornography, etc. If we don’t tell them the truth about these things, the world will tell them a lie that they will believe. Discipleship also includes a more intimate prayer life and understanding how to pray to an overwhelming God not an subservient genie.
V. SERVING is a part of any mature walk with Christ. Service to others is how we grow closer to the Lord and learn to show this love. Service begins in our church, schools, and community. The Lord asks of us to share our time, talents, and treasure.
VI. CHALLENGING our students in deeper ways is how they will turn their superficial faith into a deeper and more thoroughly founded one. Fifteen years ago, when I was in a youth group, we were ok being kids. Today’s youth feel as if they are more mature and strive against all opposition to be treated as adults. While many of todays adults buck this idea, I feel as if it can serve as a benefit of the greater goal in developing a more intellectually and spiritually honest relationship with Christ. We must strive, more than ever, to find an age appropriate microcosm of the greater church at large’s experience. In do so, we open our students up to being challenged as a pseudo-adult in deeper and more difficult ways.
VII. BRINGING the church to the unchurched instead of waiting for them to hear the music or see the crowd and hoping they’ll show up is an element that modern student ministry is in need of. Yes, we need to encourage growth through one on one invitations from our students, but who says we can’t meet today’s youth where they are (which all too often isn’t in church) and showing them the gospel through our love and interest in them and their lives? Wow, sounds an awful lot like what Jesus did!
VIII. SPREAD the gospel. Our students are in such a unique environment. They are literally surrounded by thousands of other students their own age every single day. What a mission field! We should be equipping students to “know their story” and always be willing to share it at a moments notice. Once a relationship with Christ is secured, its time to go and spread the gospel. It is important that students know their own story and have a toolbox full of tools to choose from in order to reach the students around them at their school, extracurricular activities and on their sports teams. They may not know every word of the Bible, but through discipleship they will know more of it, and they will know what Christ did for them in their own story, which no one can refute!