How to Begin a Student-Led Outreach at Your School


Students are catching the vision everywhere and starting ministries at their school.

These students have the audacious belief that God will do something special at their school! And He is. Some are personally sharing their faith in Christ with friends through conversations on and off campus. Some students start outreach clubs at their school where they invite other students on campus to visit the club. Others launch campus outreaches or ministries affiliated with an organization or church inviting students to meet after school or in the evenings in homes, churches or other locations, but their focus is reaching out to friends at the school.

Students have to decide what is best for their school, but the purpose is the same, it is not just for fellowship, but to pray, care and share Christ with the student body.

Where to begin?

Identify your purpose, your cause.

WHY do you want to start a ministry at your school? The account of the first gathering of Christians, found in Acts 2, is a great example for starting a campus outreach. They encouraged and strengthened one another, then went out into their community and made a difference. They were not inward, but outward focused. That’s a great cause and purpose, bringing God’s love and truth to your campus and introducing students to Jesus. Your school needs you!

Go to and ADOPT your school.

If you have not yet adopted your school, take a moment now and join the movement.

Focus on prayer from the start.

Gather students to pray for your school. You can do this before or after school, at lunch, or in the evening. Pray for your school when you meet with your church youth group and with friends personally. Ask adults to pray also.

When you pray…

  • Ask God to strengthen your faith and give you his plan and direction.
  • Thank Him in advance for what He plans to do on your campus.
  • Ask Him to open the eyes and hearts of students at your school to His love and truth.
  • Pray for favor with the administration and teachers.
  • Check out the Campus Prayer Guide for more prayer ideas.

Build a student team.

Find others who want to leave a legacy at your school, who have a heart to pray, care and reach out with the Gospel on your campus. Ask a youth leader from your church or a Christian organization to assist you. Look for Christian teachers, coaches, or staff at your school who might advise you.

Take note of what God is already doing.

What’s already happening at your school? Check to see if there are existing ministries or Christian clubs that are meeting on or off campus. If you can, join them and work together. If you are starting something new, communicate with the existing campus ministries. Don’t compete, but complete the work God is doing at your school.

Craft a plan

Schedule a time and place for an introductory meeting with other Christian students who have shown interest in being part of the team. Interact around the vision and purpose of your group.

Campus outreach and adopting your school involves three important parts, PRAY, CARE and SHARE. We talked about prayer above. Care is serving and loving other students and the school. Share is helping other students understand the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. It’s about having conversations with students about Jesus, what he has done for us and how we can know him personally. This is the ultimate purpose of campus outreach, to introduce students to Christ. As you make your plan, discuss each of these areas, pray-care-share, and list the ways you will be involved in each one. Be creative, set up some goals, make a calendar.

Get equipped in how to share your faith in Christ.

Ask youth leaders and pastors in your church or community to help equip you. Knowing how to have conversations by asking questions and listening is what helps other students want to talk. It gives you the opportunity to tell your story and explain the Gospel clearly so they can begin a relationship with God also. Find some good resources for sharing Christ and get equipped.

Work with your school administration.

If you are starting a club, be sure you know what is required at your school. Request a written copy of the school policy for starting school clubs or student organizations. You may need a written charter or constitution. Review copies of other school clubs to find examples. Insure that your club will be student-led, although you will want adult advisors and mentors. If the administration has questions about what you want to do, check out Free to Speak.

Move ahead.

Whether your campus group is from your church or you are connected with a youth organization in the community, or you are starting a club on campus, God will bless your efforts. Just stay focused on your goal and keep moving ahead. Being part of a team is vital, even if it is just a few. If the road gets bumpy, don’t be surprised or overly discouraged. Fix your mind on the purpose God has given you and trust Him.

Here are more resources and organizations to serve you:

First Priority

Campus Life

Claim Your Campus

Cru High School



Young Life

Youth Alive


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