youth ministry needs more…

back in january i posted this piece on youth ministry. it was meant to be part 1 of 4, but i never finished posting the series. it was ending up feeling more critical than i wanted or meant to be. while i agree with what i wrote, after more thinking, i want to reframe it. i want to look at the 4 issues from a more positive perspective. i’ll do this in 5 posts–this introductory post plus one on each of the 4 topics.

youth ministry needs more:

  • parent involvement: we need parents to be more involved in our ministries and oftentimes, in their kids’ lives. to make that happen, we need to reach out to them first.
  • celebration: we’re meant to be people of joy and in our fast-paced stressful lives we often forget to notice and find joy in the midst of our journeys.
  • realistic expectations of our students: having unrealistic expectations can leave us asking either too much or oftentimes too little of our students. it’s important to help our kids develop an accurate vision of how God sees them and then to help them live into it.
  • workers: quite simply, we need more adults involved in students’ lives. we need ‘big church’ to be more integrated with youth ministry so let’s get creative in making those connections.

so now you know where i’m headed for the next few posts. if you have ideas or feedback, be sure to post a comment. i’d love to start a dialogue around any or all of these.


2 Responses to “youth ministry needs more…”

  1. 1 Haley Wherry 20 April, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Good points!

    Couple of thoughts…

    The celebration needs to be an entire congregation thing. Too often, the “rest of the church” does not see youth ministry as a priority and the church, as a whole, doesn’t celebrate or respect the youth pastor or youth ministry. This is evident quite often when you look at the youth ministry budget in comparison to other line items in the church’s budget.

    As for expectations, I believe we don’t challenge our teens enough…we need to expect more than we do. I can’t stand the saying, “The youth/children are the church of the future.” I think the reason we lose so many after graduation is because their faith hasn’t been challenging at all, because we don’t expect anything from them. When the bar is raised, students will step up to the challenge, and when their faith is challenging, god uses them. God using them and their faith being real to them makes it hard for them to walk away from the church when they graduate.

    • 2 miniloo 20 April, 2010 at 7:31 am

      i totally agree on your first point, but i think there’s more to the second. generally i think expectations are too low–unless we find a kid that ‘gets’ it. for those kids the expectations become huge. and when they make a mistake or do a normal kid thing that we think is ‘below’ them, we’re disappointed and often drop the expectations back to too low.

      i’m going to unpack each of these 4 concepts more in posts of their own. thanks for the feedback! stay tuned and keep it coming!

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