The Church of the Good Shepherd Student Ministries focuses on five Biblical core values to help us advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of our students. We truly believe that these core values inform and focus how we are to evangelize and disciple the students of The Church of the Good Shepherd as we do life together. Our core values are the Ministry of the Word, the Ministry of Prayer, the Ministry of Presence, the Ministry of Partnership, and the Ministry of Mercy/Service.
Ministry of the Word
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
God has given us His very words, the Bible, so that we may know Him and understand who He created us to be and how we are to live. The Word of God is an extraordinary gift of transforming power and a vital means of grace. What do we have to offer our students? The very words of God, which is life! Therefore, we try to teach and model it in everything we do. God’s word is our chief authority (2 Timothy 3:16,17) and the nourishment for our spiritual hunger (Matthew 4:4).
“In order to read the Scriptures adequately and accurately, it is necessary at the same time to live them. Not to live them as a prerequisite to reading them, and not to live them in consequence of reading them, but to live them as we read them, the living and reading reciprocal, body language and spoken words, the back-and-forthness assimilating the reading to the living, the living to the reading. Reading the Scriptures is not an activity discrete from living the gospel but one integral to it.”
– Eugene Peterson
Ministry of Prayer
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
In the Gospels we find Jesus continually going off to a solitary place to pray. As Jesus made time with his Father in prayer so we want to make time communicating with God our thanks, confessions, needs, and praises. At CGS we try to foster an atmosphere that incorporates the spiritual discipline of prayer in all we do. Prayer is our communication with Christ and our humble acknowledgement that we are completely dependent on the love and grace of God.
“Prayer is not preparation for the battle, it is the battle.” – Unknown
Ministry of Presence
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
-1 Thessalonians 2:8
Jesus, the Son of God, became a man just like us. Once he was here, he spent countless hours with his twelve disciples, as well as many other followers. Jesus walked, talked, and lived with his twelve closest friends for three years; and in this way he impacted their lives. In the same way, the leadership of CGS Student Ministries seeks to be a presence in each of the students’ lives. There are numerous invaluable aspects in leading and discipling students; however, one of the most important is being a presence in students’ lives. Therefore we want to be invested in their lives where they are, and that means sports, service, school, theatre, work, and more.
“More and more the desire grows in me to simply walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them.
It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets.
It is difficult to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you don’t simply like them, but you truly love them.”
– Henri Nouwen
Ministry of Partnership
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
The Ministry of Partnership takes on a variety of forms in student ministry. First and foremost, we recognize that the spiritual development of our Middle School and High School students is primarily the responsibility of the parents. Therefore, it is our great joy to partner with the parents in everything we do, so that we are working together for the heart of the student. Partnership is a beautiful model for our students, the body of Christ working together for the hearts of students. Other partnerships exist in working with adult leaders, coaches, teachers, and other ministries within our community and we want the students to see the glory of the body of Christ working together.
“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African Proverb
Ministry of Mercy/Service
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
We are called as followers of Christ to care not only for the church that we are a part of but we are also called to serve the community we live in. Through efforts like Mission: Durham the Student ministry of CGS humbly tries to live out the Church’s call to live out the gospel in every area of their life. Our hope is to participate in the Holy Spirit’s work as we serve others in this community and as far out as God’s Kingdom extends.
“What, then, is service? Serving is putting the needs of others ahead of our own, or putting the needs of the community ahead of our individual needs. And the Bible says there are several reasons to do this. The first benefit is self-knowledge. Don’t think you know your real gifts and capacities until you do a lot of humble serving in many different capacities around the church. Only as you do that will you come to understand your own aptitudes.
The second benefit is community. When you approach the church as a consumer (that is, only to get your needs met), you are in a solitary mode of being, but when you reject the consumer mindset, serving will draw you out of yourself and into relationships.
The third benefit is the fulfillment and joy of seeing others touched through you, or seeing something great happen through the part you play in the body of Christ. Paradoxically, if you serve primarily for the benefits to yourself, then it isn’t really serving, and you won’t receive the benefits. The only workable dynamic for every-member ministry is Mark 10:45. Because Jesus served you in such a radical way, you have a joyful need to serve. It’s a form of praise that doesn’t fully enjoy what it admires until it expresses itself in service.”