My intent of writing this is not to give you a solution to ministry fails, but rather to encourage you that with the best of intentions we fall short at times. The falling short is not the issue, what we choose to do after we fall short is the important part. Do you choose to stay down, or not learn from the past mistakes, or do you get up, dust yourself off and continue on.
So with that in mind there may be things you do not agree with. That is ok with me. I would rather you think for yourself than to rely on these words to fix it all. But, I hope this helps, I pray that these words will encourage you and lift you up in times that there is no possible way out.
Youth Ministry. What is the purpose of youth ministry? What are we trying to accomplish? Let’s start with these questions. Youth ministry is more then events and programs. It is more than the gaming night you have with the guys or the beautification party with the young ladies. It really comes down to a few simple statements. Youth ministry is an opportunity to help young students know Christ in a way that allows them to hold onto Him when they grow into young adults. It is a start to a relationship that will hopefully give them stability when their world around them begins to shake with different ideals, theology, and moral discrepancies. We have heard the statistics of how many young students leave the church at a certain age, or turn from God. I am not concerned with that as much as I am concerned with the fact that there are young students out there hungry for something real. They are not worried about the clothes you wear or the music you listen to. They could care less if you are cool or a big dork. They just want someone real not socially relevant.
We have plenty of 10, 12, 125 step programs out there for youth ministry. I am not bashing them so do not even go there. What I am going to say is that we must get to a place in our relationship with the Lord that we are able to hear from Him for ourselves as youth leaders. There have been plenty of times that God has spoken to me through an article I have read or a video I have seen, or even a message I have heard. After all this is His intent, to speak to us through many different ways. But, how much do you rely on articles like this to get you motivated. How often do you spend quality time with the God of the universe. And yes, I did say quality not quantity. I am speaking about the uninterrupted, focused, devoted time spent with Him.
In order to speak truth you must spend time with the truth (God). John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
For myself I have to have a room all to myself. In fact I put pillows in the windows of my office I turn off my worship music and I sit in the stillness. Just so I do not have a “squirrel“ moment. Are we sitting in the stillness so as to hear the voice of God speak? Without it how can we impact a generation that is living in such a loud world? If we as youth leaders cannot quiet our minds before the Almighty how is it that we can convince a young generation that they need to do the same. We are to use our God given influence to lead them to the cross. And I find the best way to do that is to live it out.
So what I am really saying is that it is your responsibility to be aligned with God. And to expect that to happen on a whim is only fooling yourself. I once heard it explained like this. “If we allow ourselves the privilege of aligning ourselves with God, our desires then become His desires and His desires become our desires. And when the television is aligned it presents the most colorful and vibrant picture to focus on.”
What is youth ministry? It is leaders allowing an alignment between them and God and expressing the focused, colorful, vibrant picture of Christ that loves them beyond measure. A ministry that is so much about my actions more than my words.