Your school probably has lots of clubs in it: clubs for the environment, speech clubs, student council… so why not start a Christian club?
To most people that probably sounds like a crazy – and very scary – idea. I know when I first thought of it I was pretty nervous. Who would come to a Christian club?
But the truth is, most of the people in your school have never heard of God before, or at least, not in the way you have. They walk through the same halls you do every day and not once are exposed to Christianity and all it has to offer. Inviting your friends to church is great, but starting a club is an even better way to reach a lot of people, even ones you might have never even talked to before.
So how do you do this?
The number one thing you want to do first is pray. Ask God to show you if this is really what He wants for you. Believe it or not, He might say no and ask you to do something completely different. But He also might say yes, and that is your go-ahead.
2. Get Some Help
Talk to your youth pastor or leader. He/ She can give you lots of tips and advice, and they might even know other kids in your school who will want to be involved! Having a couple other Christian friends to help you with this is huge. That is what made a big difference for me.
3. School Club Policies
Every school has a different process for starting clubs, but generally the first thing you want to do is find a sponsor teacher who is willing to let you use their classroom. Make sure you let them know when you want to run your club (for example, if you want to do it on Thursdays at lunch). If you’re having trouble finding a teacher to sponsor you, talk to one of your school counsellors and they can try to find one for you.
Next your school will most likely have a “club sheet” that they’ll want you to fill out, asking questions like what the purpose of your club is and when you will be meeting. This will probably be available at your school’s office.
Once that sheet is complete, you’ll need to run it by your principal. This is usually the hardest part because some principals are more lenient than others. You definitely want to emphasize that your club is not forcing religion on anyone; it’s simply there for anyone who is interested, and whether they accept it or not is up to them. It can be scary, but if God wants you to start this outreach, He will make a way!
4. Make a Plan
What you do in your club is totally up to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Start a Bible study
- Run Youth Alpha – seriously, this is great!
- Have worship and a “talk” (not a sermon, but a discussion on a popular topic, or share your own story of what God means to you)
- Encourage discussion about faith with Q and A’s – you could have a jar where people could drop in questions they might have
- Run The Thinking Series
- Get pastors to come in and speak (you will have to get the school’s permission to bring in guests)
*Tip: food is a GREAT way to get people to come to your club!
Whatever you do, just make sure that you have a game plan! There’s nothing worse than walking into a club that has no idea what they are doing.
5. Spread the Word!
With your principal’s approval, you can finally start advertising! You can put up posters, get your club on the announcements, start a Facebook page… be creative!
As much as advertising is great, however, the most effective way to get someone to come to your club is by personal invite. A person can easily pass your posters on the walls without a second glance, but if you take the time to ask someone if they want to come to your club, chances are, they probably will. And if they say no, don’t take it personally. God will work on them in his own time.
6. Pray Some More
Last but not least, you again want to pray. Pray that God will give you others that are willing to help with the club. Pray that He will bring the right people to your meetings. Pray that He will speak through you and through the videos that you watch. Pray that he will soften the hearts of the people at your school. Pray that through this club, people would become open, and maybe even accepting of Jesus.
Starting a Christian club is a huge task, and a nerve-wracking one. When I started Youth Alpha at my school, I was terrified of what people might think. What if no one came? What if people judged me? What if I spent all this time organizing a club that no one seemed to like? It’s hard to avoid questions like these and sometimes there would be meetings where we would only have a handful of people show up. But I had to trust that God was in control and that if He had told me He wanted this club to happen, He would see it through.
So if this is something you feel God has called you to do, go for it! He wants to use you in your school in such miraculous ways beyond anything you could ever imagine. A few years ago, I never would have seen myself leading a Christian club in a public school, but here I am, and God is working through me. He wants to do the same thing through you, in your own school, if you’re only brave enough to step out and do it.