I began to realize that I failed miserably as a youth minister to the students who were under my care. I saw for the first time what preaching truly is, how serious it should be taken, and what is at stake. I went back to my dorm room, sat down on the floor, and wept.
I’m not saying that’s wrong or that children’s ministry is bad – I love and serve in the children’s ministry in my church – I’m merely making the observation that while this ministry can and should serve the church, it will never replace it. Regardless of what curriculum or structure or teaching style your children’s ministry uses, here are some reasons why it’s healthy from time to time to take…
I’m convinced that, instead of focusing on keeping students, a truly kingdom-focused church will be passionate about sending students.
I have come to firmly believe that student ministries are uniquely positioned to be mission sending agencies within the local church.
I get it. The goal is to acknowledge the value of students and the important role they play in the future of the church. Here’s the problem: it implies that students are not part of the church right now.
Every leader needs accountability, including youth pastors.
Today’s youth thirst for discipleship, not gimmicks. In eternity past, God ordained the local church as the chosen vessel to quench that thirst.
If your pursuit of Christian maturity does not have the person and work of Christ as its central focus, it’s a fool’s errand.
Student ministries can give students something the world cannot – a greater purpose for their soul, and guidance in how to live for that purpose.
These two young Christian women were nearing the end of their undergraduate degrees. Neither had a job lined up after graduation or any expectation of a "ring by spring," which at their Christian college validates the whole school-debt-without-a-job situation. They had a look in their eyes that said "life is getting way too real."
Youth ministry might not need a total makeover. Instead, we need to think strategically about how to incorporate students into the life of the church.
As I find myself passing the student ministry baton off to others, I have laid out for them a simple philosophy of youth ministry. Perhaps it will be beneficial to you as well
Teenage believers, you can contribute right away in significant and helpful ways when the church gathers.
Here are a few biblical principles that we should heed no matter what in youth ministry. My sense is the many youth groups don’t heed them.