How to run a successful school Christian group

Image: How to run a successful school Christian group

The ultimate 5-part series on starting a Christian group at your school.

Let's face it: high school is hard! It’s one of the hardest places to be a human. Here's a few things you might be dealing with:

  • peer pressure
  • keeping on top of study
  • making friends
  • fitting in
  • dating
  • thinking about your future
  • hormones going crazy
  • parents going even crazier over what marks you get and who your friends are

All these things make high school one of the hardest places to be a human.

But high school is also one of the hardest places to be a Christian. Not only do you struggle with all of the above but you’re also seeking to live like Jesus and to be a light for him to those around you. 

Being a Christian at school is hard

I asked some of my friends on Facebook what they think the hardest thing about being a Christian in high school is. One particular response stuck out to me. My friend Leanne said:

Finding other Christians at school so I could have the guts to be Christian was hard.

Hands up if you’ve ever had this thought!

Although it’s been 6 years since I was in high school, I still remember this feeling. This is also a struggle I know many of the high schoolers I work with have: feeling all alone whilst trying to be a light to your friends for Jesus.

With that in mind, here are two reasons why having a Christian group at your school can help you feel less like a tiny, lonely little flicker in a big black hole!

1. Meeting together with other Christians is encouraging

I think Hebrews 10:25 hits the nail on the head:

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The writer to the Hebrews encourages God’s people to keep meeting together so they can encourage each other to live for Jesus as they wait for him to return.

Even if there’s only one other Christian in your school, find them and meet together. Spend one recess a week praying together for your school, for your friends, for boldness. Or spend a lunch time reading the Bible together, letting God’s word strengthen and encourage you. On the good days, you’ll be able to thank God for his good gifts. On the bad days, you’ll be able to remind each other of what God has done for us in Jesus and encourage each other to keep living for him. 

2. You’ll be able to help each other be a light to those around you

1 Peter 2:12 says:

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

When Christians meet together, their relationships should look very different from those in the world around them. Jesus’ love for us impacts the way we love others - and non-Christians notice that! 

I think the way this is most obvious in high school is when people who "shouldn’t be" friends are actually friends. A few years ago, I taught scripture in our local high school. I would go along to the Christian group to hang out with the teens from our church and encourage them. One particular friendship that stood out to me was between a popular year 12 boy (who we’ll call "Jordan") and a shy, awkward year 7 boy (who we’ll call "Matt").

There was no reason for these two boys to be friends. In fact, in a normal high school, someone like Matt might have been bullied by a guy like Jordan. But when Matt turned up at the Christian group, Jordan welcomed him and loved him, introducing him to others and sitting with him every week until he felt at home. These two would never normally have been friends, but because of what Jesus had done in their lives, they were.

This is the power of the gospel and it’s so counter-cultural that it speaks really loudly to our friends! As those around you watch you relate to each other as Christians, they get to see what Jesus does in people’s lives. When you do this as a group, you can turn from a tiny, lonely flicker into a ferocious flame coursing through your school.

Get ready to meet with Christians at your school

High school is hard. Being a Christian at high school is even harder! Having a Christian group gives you a great opportunity to meet with other Christians so you can encourage each other to keep following Jesus in a tough place. Together you can be a great light for the gospel to those around you!

This is the first of five articles. So far we’ve established why it’s an awesome idea to have a Christian school group - in the upcoming articles, we’re going to look at how to run one. During this series, we’ll look at some of the following topics:

  • where to start
  • how to choose leaders
  • what to do when you meet together
  • how to get people to come
  • what to do if there are only a few Christians in your school

If you’ve been thinking you’d like to start a Christian group but you weren’t sure how, or you’re involved in leading your Christian group and you’d like some ideas to make it better, then follow the links below and get ready to grow your group!

View ALL articles in this series, or select a topic below.

1. Where do I start?

2. What makes a good program?

3. How to get people to turn up

4. What if there are just a few of us?

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