Many leaders are already ZOOMING multiple times every week, meeting with senior leaders and supervisors, and trying to maintain discipling relationships with students and small group leaders. While the face time is great, everyone would prefer those meetings to be in person.
What leaders need is insight, ideas, and inspiration for student ministry during a strange season. That’s why IPHC Student Ministries scheduled the ZUMMIT!
This past Thursday evening, April 16th, 2020, leaders from more than 10 states and multiple time-zones clicked online for Student Ministries’ first-ever ZUMMIT, a Zoom call and Summit for Student Leaders in the IPHC. The goal in meeting with these leaders was to inspire, equip, and support them as they minister to families and students during this quarantine season.
The call was split into three basic parts: first, Stephen Jones, SMAT Team Leader, talked about the “Pivot in Method and the Pitfalls of Ministry during this Corona-Chaos.” Jones covered three main points: the “Temptations to Compare” our ministry efforts to others, the “Rush to Anxiety” as leaders are compelled to keep up with the constant changes, and the “Decisions to Settle” when things are overwhelming. But Christians have the example of Christ, who, when faced with the enormous opportunity to cater a meal for 5,000 people, gave the disciples a mission and a method beyond their experience. They saw a miracle of epic proportions. Student Ministries is believing that God will grant that same kind of miracle to student leaders if they will be willing to think outside their ministry experience and be led by His Spirit.
The second section of content reviewed practical tips and tricks for “Discipleship at a Digital Distance” with Josh Kestner, SMAT member and Student Pastor at Christian Life Church in Salem, VA. Josh shared some creative and innovative ways he and his team have not only built relationships and fostered community online with their youth group but also delivered quality messages and discipleship content for the students. His content was super helpful for leaders who want more of a presence online but need assistance in maximizing social media opportunities. If you’ve ever wanted to play “Mafia” via Zoom, or if you’ve ever wanted to try “Bingo” via Instagram, you’ll want to check out his section of content.
The ZUMMIT also offered participants a chance to interact with each other via the Zoom “Breakout Rooms” option. After each 10-12 minute presentation, the ZUMMIT broke into four breakout rooms for a facilitated discussion with each other. Leaders had the opportunity to share ideas and get inspired by what God is doing in churches and communities they may never have the chance to visit. It was inspiring to watch leaders relate to and find encouragement from each other. They might not have ever spoken to one another apart from that moment.
“We had a great evening with our peers and co-laborers in Student Ministry. We wanted them to know we’re all in this together, and we’re stronger when we lean into each other’s strengths,” Jones said. “Our prayer is that each church and each student ministry will find supernatural ability, inspiration, and anointing during this season of ministry, and that each one will maximize this moment—this opportunity—for a generation. And we’re looking forward to the next time we can ZUMMIT!”
If you missed the Zummit, check out the Student Ministries YouTube channel, or you can watch the video below.