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Three months into becoming a student pastor my church asked me if the  youth were going to do a disciple now. They had always done a disciple now. I casually said I would pray about it and let them know by Friday. I had full intentions of doing a disciple now. Besides, they had always done a disciple now.

That Friday morning I was about to leave for work, and the thought popped into my mind, “you didn’t pray about the disciple now.” So I went to my room, shut the door, and quietly asked God about the disciple now. Almost instantly I had the idea, “do a student revival.” In 2012 and in my limited experience I had never seen a student revival. This was also before Hillsong Young and Free had released their “Youth Revival” album. But I decided to do a four-night revival service for students.

It was electric. 

Many were saved. Many were set free. And there was a lot of chatter in the schools about our church. Needless to say, we grew — a lot.

I’m a huge fan of strategy, excellent leadership, and amazing content but there is another factor that goes into growing a ministry. The x-factor.

What is the x-factor? The favor of God. 

Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”

I fear that sometimes we can get so caught up in building the ministry that we fail to ask God for His input. I’m convinced that, when invited, God brings divine ideas, strategies, and conversations into our meetings. 

Unless the Lord grows your ministry, it won’t grow.

When the hand of God is on your ministry, it’s unstoppable. So I want to encourage you, seek God. Pray and ask God directly about your series, events, and outreaches. You might not get a “word from God,” but the invitation is all He needs to help you reach more students.

-Daniel Maddry