Asking the right questions in Ministry!
WHAT YOUTH MINISTRY IS NOT
RULE ONE: What has happened in the past doesn't have to happen in the future!
RULE TWO: Discipleship doesn't have to be boring.
RULE THREE: Youth can spiritually grow and know Christ personally.
RULE FOUR: Guilt is not a good way to find people for ministry.
RULE FIVE: Christian conversion and growth is a process not just an event.
RULE SIX: Ministries needs to be planned not just happen by chance.
Well someone at church said "Hey, we are looking for a new Youth leader, what about you?"
You say yes and its down the road to the local Christian bookshop for 10,000 bits of mega youth clip art (brochures are covered),a book on awesome games for the brain dead and hyperventilating (activities covered), a huge book of radical youth studies (talks are right) so now return home thinking have a forgotten anything. YES! Buy lots of food.
You still however have this awful feeling that you have forgotten something. It is a bit like going on holidays thinking you left the oven on. The first priority in youth ministry or any ministry is why are we doing it? How does it fit into the ministry life of the church? How will this help people in their spiritual walk?
The aim of this book is to give you a working model on how to plan your ministry. It may end up giving you more questions than answers, but I pray that it will let you focus on Jesus and what he is calling you to do.
"Such a large
crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything
slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must
determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes
Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame
of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be
he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne! So keep
mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you
get discouraged and give up." (CEV)
WHAT YOUTH MINISTRY IS NOT
A place to just keep kids off the street.
Some churches will say " we have all these youth roaming the streets, we need a place for them to go."
Thus a low key youth group may start. The problem is the group is only on Friday night, so what stops them from wandering the streets on Saturday or Wednesday or even after the group finishes. Outreaching and reaching the lost is excellent but a group that only keeps them off the street is selling itself out short.
If such a group is run, the leaders need to think through "what are we going to do if someone gets 'saved'". Will we provide a second group in which to grow. Bridging ministries are excellent as long as they make a bridge to somewhere.
A group that holds them in the church until they are adults.
If you put your arm in plaster to save it for the future will it grow strong or end up withered. Those ministries that are waiting for youth to 'come of age' will find that they are creating wishy washy adults and will find no point in taking up serious discipleship. You will be creating a group of lazy young Christians who when they take up leadership will not have a strong kingdom passion but will like to stay with the norm!
Secondly, such a group can quickly degenerate into being only a social group. The result of many such groups is disintegration when the members get there own cars or licences and are able to go further afield for entertainment.
God hasn't set up
to try and outdo the "world' in entertainment but to reach, minster and
equip for ministry!
A fun factoryYouth Ministry is not a choice between fun and serious but each program must ask of itself. " Will this program as a whole help people to know Christ?"
If your energies are tied up in preparing the games more that the studies then you run the risk of having a group of consumers. Many a church has sought to have such a great social program to hold the youth, that have only ended up giving their young people a desire to "party". The Church is not in competition with the world on who can provide the most fun.
Is your program
be consumed or aimed at helping people to love God and each other? We
be on our guard that popularity is not mixed up with spirituality and
personality is not mixed up with holy living.
The Church of tomorrowYouth are not the church of tomorrow but are of the church TODAY. They need to be seen are people who can pray, love God, share their faith, financially support the church, discuss faith etc. Because a person is tithing off of $4 and thus gives only 40 cents doesn't put mean that their giving in not significant. For this is training them for what they should do when they get full incomes.
What are about the youth who wander the streets...This desire can also be for youth who... suicide, are latch key children, etc "what about the .... youth?"
Our society has many sorrows, but to merely feel bad about the injustices of society doesn't deal with the deeper issue that EVERYONE NEEDS CHRIST.
Although we must learn from the past, it does not limit how we will minister in the future. Some churches have always run a Friday night ministry. Friday nights are not sacred! Youth groups don't have to sing or play games to fulfil the great commission.
It is wise to consider the direction of the past program to see how it fits in with you aims and strategy.
The other fear
here, is that
some people think that anything of the past is bad and the lot should
thrown out. Consider that the average youth leader lasts two years and
you realise that if this model is followed then you will have three or
four different programs for youth as they go through High School.
Yes, it is true that most non-Christian are not excited by being disciples. But the aim of discipleship is to grow Christians. You ministry needs to provide opportunities where Christians can be equipped for ministry and provided opportunities to grow.
I have always been delighted to hear young Christians share their faith with their friends, and it is great excitement when a young person leads a friend to a saving faith in Christ.
not a comprehension
test or purely a competition on who can argue the best, but an
to help people grow spiritually.
Sadly, there is
around for High School students but is it worth searching and even
around Youth Workers to find out what they have found to be successful.
* If you
the group will close.
Using guilt or
may get a person to do a job but it will rarely call them to a life
ministry. Jesus asked us to carry the cross and gave us a model of the
suffering servant. He calls us to participate in his Kingdom, not
us to fill in vacancies only.
WHY DO PEOPLE DO YOUTH WORK?Some of the reasons for being in youth work initially may include
* There is
a gap in
the youth group leadership.
The average full time Youth Worker lasts around two years per Church and it is rare to have volunteers who stay in youth work any longer. (This can range in different denominations and with the increase in professional training)
Most volunteer youth workers have received no training in youth ministry, and rarely receive financial support to go to courses to improve their working knowledge.
Yet during youth is when most people make a decision for Christ. This age is foundational to how people will walk the Christian life. The lessons learnt here about prayer, giving, commitment, evangelism etc. form the starting point to eternity.
Youth work is not just a fun thing to do, but a ministry that has definite eternal consequences. Ministry is part of fulfilling our responsibility to God to reach this generation, to equip them so they may reach others.
No matter which
started you off, you need to plan what you hope to achieve in Youth
No matter if your group has six people in a Sunday morning or you
a thousand person program, you need to consider the direction of the
and what you hope to achieve.
FINDING THE RIGHT STRATEGYSome youth leaders will want to reach the lost, others want to help believers grow. So how do you plan a strategy?
ministry is embarked
upon you need to consider what you hope to achieve and what are the
that are going to get you there. The aim of this short book is to
five questions. These five questions will help you to plan a ministry
the future that will last!