it's been a while...

For a few months I have taken a hiatus from writing in general. I am writing a book, great. However, I looked at the heart of the issue, and from recent blog posts that I wrote (which have been removed) I wrote some very hurtful and wrong comments about things. Sometimes being young, we make mistakes and prove that no matter how "experienced" we think we are, we always can learn more.

In youth ministry, we have a tendency to get big heads and egos. Students love us and it makes us feel like the popular person, and sometimes we can get this sense of passage where we deserve this. I want us to think about one issue, is our youth group built around you or Christ?

This question is NOTHING new to youth ministry. We have those who have the personality to attract tons of students, and through that butts fill seats, couches and bean bags. Others try to develop with smaller groups. We try to emulate other ministries and do what they are doing. We aspire to have the next greatest piece of technology or curriculum or book. We look up to those who are considered ministry "experts". We go to conferences and come back with big ideas and no way to lay those plans out. Ministry is frustrating at times. Then, for those of us who are married or even working another job, we have another aspect of life to juggle.

Here is what I want to get at today. There will always be another ministry "expert" out there to tell us and encourage us in youth ministry. I have been to several conferences and this is what happens! Yet, every single ministry requires different work. Some have such hard core discipleship and small numbers. Others have huge numbers and are wading in the baby pool. Regardless of your situation in your youth ministry, the only way discipleship will happen is if we turn OUR eyes, hearts, ears, and hands to Christ. We can not be the molder of the clay, we can only be a tool to help in the process.

Also, there needs to be a revival in the homes of our youth. This is where we turn leadership and discipleship training to parents and caregivers. In most churches, there is always a 90-10 rule, 10% of the people do 90% of the work. Parents can view youth ministry as a way to get their teenager out of trouble for a few hours so they can get chores done. Others view it as an avenue where they expect to see spiritual growth and maturity through the youth group activities. MY role as the youth minister of my church is to HELP and ENCOURAGE students to a relationship with Christ, and through that avenue, move them into disciples of Christ.

Yet, there is a disconnect from the home to the church, sometimes. Pageants, sports, non-church going friends can all be hindrances to the development of students. I have had a parent tell me that they pray over their meals and that this would be the right amount of spiritual growth they need.

I look at the church as parable of the woman at the well. She came to get a drink of water, just to quench her thirst for that time, yet Jesus, in HIS amazing and Jesus way transformed her into a bubbling spring of eternal water, where she will never grow spiritually thirsty again. The church is not a coke machine. Just put our money in, get us some Jesus to go, and be good until the next time you are thirsty.

I want us to look at ourselves, the youth pastors, but I also want to challenge us to bring unity into church and into the homes. Pray for a revival in the life of your church and see where God and Christ will lead you!
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