Being the youth pastor for seven years now at Bethany Community Church in Seattle, I have seen a lot of churches struggle to keep their doors open. We won't get into why these churches are struggling, but one thing I do know is that a number of their members have made their way to BCC, and most likely, the other larger churches in the area. I am not here to defend or build a case for whether this is a healthy movement or not, it's just my observation. A good percentage of our growth has come from people leaving other churches, or people moving into Seattle for school or work. Our third area of growth is with people who have at one time been disfranchised with "church" and have found a way home through the ministry of BCC. This got me thinking about the people who live in our city who have high school students...are we reaching them? So, the other day I was looking at 6 of the high schools we draw from and wondering what the percentage of students have a faith in Jesus. This is what I came up with:
- The estimated enrollment of these six High Schools (Ballard, Ingram, Shorewood, Shorecrest, Nathan Hale and Roosevelt) is around 8,000.
- Out of these 8,000 students we guesstimated that around 5% have a faith in Jesus. These numbers are no way scientific. They are, again, just my opinion, my observation and conversations with other Youth Pastors in our city.
- The point of all this is to say that if my numbers are at all accurate, then we have over 7,600 High School students and their families who need to know Jesus.
This is not meant to be discouraging. I am actually inspired. Inspired to equip students to share their faith, and to help them become a disciple who makes disciples and reaches their friends.
What ways do you equip students to share their faith?