Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Convictions about Youth Ministry --Part 3

Value #7: Everything must flow to the bigger picture.  This value of mine transcends every aspect of ministry, but it is so important when it comes to youth ministry as well.  I've had the honor to connect and speak at many different churches and one thing I've noticed over my years is the "transition model" of ministry.  Every church starts out as a "family" model; this is the stage where everyone knows everyone, the pastor is like the dad or grandpa of the group, etc.  The second stage is the "corporate" model.  Now don't get offended by the name because it's a very much needed stage.  This is where structure is introduced into the church and policies are issued to help things grow and run smoothly; the pastor is started to be viewed more than just one of the guys; he is now the leader and visionary of the church.  The final stage is Kingdom.  The pastor is usually operating much like an apostle with all the previous characteristic visible.  The church is committed to the great commission and community transformation; it's not to say they were not before, but now it's evident in everything they do.  This principle is all through out the Bible.
Youth ministry should be the same.  If ever a youth group starts to operate and function like a separate identity from the rest of the church, then it is not flowing to the bigger picture.  In fact, as a youth pastor, I've discovered that you have to make every effort to insure everything you do promotes and keeps the "vision of the house" as it's center of focus, because if you don't then by default you're creating a "church mutiny" without even knowing it.    May I suggest taking a look at the Relevant article here to go deeper in this topic.

Value #8: The Journey of faith takes time, and students can minister now.  Ever notice the gap between Moses killing the Egyptian and the burning bush experience?  Or how about Samson sleeping with Delilah then the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him?  These are just a few of many verses that mess me up.  (in a good way)   These stories are not in the Bible to conflict with the process of righteousness, they are in there to remind us that discipleship is not an A then B then C Sunday school process.  We have to disciple right where people are at.  I'm not advocating that you take the teenage guy sleeping with his girlfriend and put him in your youth band, but I am saying to be aware of ways to bring teens into a closer relationship of Grace and Righteousness through disciplining where they are currently at.  I take great comfort in seeing Jesus do this with his disciples and many times at the end of the day they still did not get it.  It's a process.

I hope you enjoy them and would love any feedback.
Yours for His Kingdom,

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