tranceitiaonl ministry...

In youth ministry, we take time to sit back and hang out with students. We may take naps on the couches in our offices. We may stop to take an extended lunch to play some xbox. Other times we are diligent in our work, planning ahead, doing lessons, picking out games, etc. The life of a youth minister in their office is sometimes sacred.

Outside the office, we are supposed to be the young hip members of the staff at churches. We are supposed to be funny but relevant. Serious but sarcastic. A listener who has all the answers. The best talks that will bring students to Jesus ONCE if not TWICE a week! A ministry that booms and busts at the seams every week! This is what we are taught and told to have. We are also taught to bring in the most numbers and the more the better. We are taught to look at the larger groups/churches, adapt what they are doing to our church.

Lately there might have been a shift in the culture of youth ministry that tells us that it is good to be your own group. Today's churches have an identity crisis. Youth ministry has become such a huge, money making behemoth that it is hard to get back to the grass roots of youth ministry.

We connect, follow, download and buy all the big time youth ministry guys books and lessons. We often forget to see what is really working for our own group. Instead, we go with the big guns because they made the path nice, smooth and paved for all of us.

Today, I brought my son into work with me for just a little bit. My son, at 5 months old, has a hard time with change in the atmosphere he is used to. Something new often makes him fussy. He cries. It turns him off to the outside world and only wants to be where he likes to be. Where he is used to. When I started to feed him, to calm him down, I noticed that he was in a formula induced trance. He started to get glassy eyed. Focus on one point. He started to move less and just lay there while he ate.

Youth ministry has become like my five month old son. And I AM THE GUILTIEST of them ALL! I use the lessons I download or bought. I do a lot of things that the bigger churches may do, but I often forget the root of what youth ministry really is. Youth ministry is relational family building and bonding. It is putting MYSELF outside of MY COMFORT levels and LETTING CHRIST MOVE through the laughs, cries, talks, silences and brief moments I share with students!

I want to encourage youth ministers to continue doing the work that Christ has given you the gifts to do! I know several youth ministers looking for jobs, but continue to be faithful that God will bless them with the perfect church set for their spiritual gifts.

I am new in my current position. I am the baby where I work now. I have recently started only a month ago. However, from my last church to here, I can see how God used relational building to help me grow with my current group. I have matured from 2 years ago. I still have lots and lots to learn. Which is why I want to listen. I want to hear and cry out the aches, the joys, the depths of despair, the highest mountain top experiences. I want to share Christ in a way that Christ did, by speaking to students and loving them, regardless of what they have done or where they are in their spiritual journey. Discipleship starts with a seed the produces roots to grow.

Try to break the trance you are in (if you are in one). If you have joys, then SHARE IT! If you have sorrows, THEN SHARE IT! If you have struggles, THEN SHARE IT! Leave comments so I and others can encourage and pray for each of you.

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