FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Youth pastors who need help programming, scheduling and administering their youth ministries have a new online resource in www.SBCstudents.com.
The resources at SBCstudents.com, some of which would cost hundreds of dollars if purchased, are available at no charge to all who visit, register and use the site, which was developed by Richard Ross, professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and students in the student ministry department at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus.
Ross said SBCstudents.com provides access to “every SBC printed resource used in youth ministry, every SBC youth ministry event and conference, every SBC national, state and seminary leader in youth ministry and every SBC state youth ministry homepage.”
Greg Mathews, a master of divinity student at Southwestern, is the webmaster for the SBCstudents.com project. Mathews was called into youth ministry while on a summer mission trip in Alaska between his junior and senior year in college. At the time he was near the completion of a computer science degree at the University of North Carolina.
After completing the computer science degree, Mathews passed up a lucrative career in the computer industry in order to enroll at Southwestern. In addition to his studies and doing all the work on the SBCstudents.com site, Mathews is the youth pastor at Indian Hills Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Mathews noted that the site has been especially helpful in his youth ministry by providing project and time management tools for planning, scheduling and administering all the youth ministry events he is leading.
“It has already completely changed the way I run events at my church,” Matthews said. “I used to struggle, trying to put things together at the last minute. But now I have my entire year planned.”
“This site is a gift to the churches from the students at Southwestern,” Ross said. “It is something the students at Southwestern are doing for the broader Southern Baptist family. It is simply a gift, and an investment in students, in their leaders and their churches.”
Ross said the SBCstudents.com project has the support of the youth professors of all SBC seminaries and the youth employees of national SBC entities and Baptist state conventions, who will make decisions about the content of the site during an annual meeting they hold annually.
“This is the only source in existence for churches to see the Mission Statement, Values, and Strategies of SBC student ministry,” Ross said, noting that attendees at the annual meetings “spent hours and hours crafting these.”
Ross added that SBCstudents.com can provide special help to small churches. “The volunteers in those smallest churches seldom get word on conferences, mission trips, resources or training events,” he said. “The SBC has no other delivery system to get comprehensive help to them than our website.”