u t h p s t r
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is this fair?

ok, from nothing to two posts in one day…

so, is this fair?

i don’t want to offend any students who may read, but i’m thinking about something i want to share so i can see what others think. as i think about why students come or don’t come to our ministry events, i wonder if it has something to do with the idea of, “what have you done for me lately?” because i know i’ve had some great relationships with students over the years and it’s not necessarily a lack of their liking me or our leaders that determines why or why not they come. so if it’s not always us, what is it? is it their desire and need to have us right there, top of mind, constantly reminding them and doing for them that makes them receptive to coming? is it a part of growing maturity or is it their insanely busy lives? and if it is busy lives, are we doing them a disservice by being a constant reminder or annoyance inviting them to participate?

if some of this is true, that’s a scary thought. not just because we would have to be always reminding and in their “field of view”, but that we would have to do that with more students than is possible for just a single youth worker can handle in a church. if a typical church might have 25 to 100 high school students, then there is no way we can keep in regular contact with them and keep our ministry and events “top of mind” in their lives. even with numerous leaders, i don’t think i is entirely possible to do this on a weekly/regular basis. so what is the best route to bring Christ to them and help them keep faith as a vital part of their life and world.

so am i off base here? or is the part of the reality of why or why not students show? if so, youth ministry is drastically changing beyond our regular thinking.

pax: ty

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3 Responses to “is this fair?”

  1. I have seen students most alive when they are a part of a mission bigger then themselves. It pulls them out (even for just a while) of a self focused, consumeristic, entertain me posture. They need to be a part of an epic story where they play an important role. Donald Miller has some powerful thoughts on that- Ross can hook you up with a DVD of him talking about that.

    Also, I increasingly believe that student ministries has to pay more attention to the Parents. I don’t think student ministries should play surrogate to family life. It should compliment it.

    Nonetheless, may God lead you in a direction that causes students and their families to follow hard after Jesus.

    Peace, Daniel

  2. Hi there friend,

    I know this comment is a little delayed, but in my devotions this morning I read a passage that brought to mind your post that I had been pondering. The passage this morning is one we both know well. John 10

    1″I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

    I think one thing that we can ascertain from this passage is that we aren’t expected to “drive” the kids to Christ. Those who hear and know his voice will follow. Sometimes I think we concentrate on the numbers that aren’t coming to the neglect of those who do. The best witness to a kid I think is another kid. Perhaps we should concentrate on challenging and helping those that do come to be really knowledgeable and effective witnesses. While the “program” needs to be relevant, a few “on fire” kids would, over time, be the best attraction for more kids. All we have to do is deliver the word. The Holy Spirit will add to our numbers if that is his will. Keep on keeping on. Maybe I’m too simplistic, but I don’t think kids need any more entertainment. They need to see Christ’s love in us. And, they need to see that it really does make a difference.

  3. Hi Ty,
    I haven’t read your blog in a while.
    I like what JonSr. says about the few, and the John 10 passage. In all times, in history, and today, a small number of passionate people are all that are needed to make a huge impact on our world. In all major areas of life, the right people in the right places move mountains, change policies, refocus nations and bring about change in peoples lives. (example – Wiburforce changed the world forever in regards to slavery with a few of the right people in the right place at the right time)
    I’m not one to talk about focusing on the “few” because I tend to think I need to keep everyone engaged and happy all the time, but I’m learning that advancing the kingdom is not necessarily about numbers.
    I truly believe that you need to lay the truth out for the masses, but if “it only takes a spark to get a fire going” (:o( sorry! ) then it’s important that we ask for wisdom and discernment as to where to put our time, energy and resources to make the most impact.
    I think kids today are looking for more! More of Jesus than my generation knew exsisted. The power and authority given us through the Holy Spirit is something they need to understand, and begin to live out. The CRC/RCA has done a fantastic job of laying good biblical and theological foundations in our lives and the lives of our kids, but understanding that Jesus came to establish his kingdom on this earth, and to destroy the works of Satan seems to be foreign to many.
    A book I’ve learned a ton from lately is called “Rediscovering the Kingdom” by Myles Munore.
    My prayers are with you Ty as you lead our kids. I’m very thankful for you and pray for Gods protection and wisdom to surround you.
    Love in Jesus,
    vickie b.


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