rethinking events as youth ministy
i’m continuing to think about how youth ministry must change to reach students with the love of Christ, the truth of the Gospel and a better way to live because of hope in God.
events have been something i’ve done and loved to do over the years. why? because they create memories, build existing and new relationships, allow for new experiences and they stretch us.
but you really can’t create a youth ministry ministry out of events. or can you?
reading another blog last week mentioned the idea of paradise makers, but i read it wrong as paradise markers. after rereading it, i like both ideas! how can we our youth ministry events to be the ministry and have them be both paradise makers and markers?
let me explain…
getting students to come out to a big youth group seems to be dying out except for the largest and most dynamic churches. we aren’t going to get 100’s of students out to create the critical mass for a large group. so what i want to try is to have leaders split off with smaller group as a complete youth group. self contained and the care community for those students. i think these are different than what we used to have as small groups because…
- they are not just break outs after we have a topical or theme night.
- they are more than a monthly discussion.
- they can self-determine the course that their “discipleship” takes.
- they have all the elements of youth ministry built in: worship, service projects, community, fun activities, prayer, special experiential events, etc.
- growth through personal relationships.
now these special experiential events that that group participates in become both paradise makers and makers.
- they mark the ways God has interacted with his creation. to remind us of God’s love and interaction with us.
- they make a little bit of heaven “in the now” because of the love, care and character of the relationships that develop and these being different than what the world throws at them.
so events become teaching and experiential tools as these groups branch out to chart the course God will reveal to them as time goes on. they find out and live out different biblical truths by taking trips, serving others, sharing life together and investing in their personalized “youth group”. point out paradise and make paradise by…
- road trips where you see how life is lived by other people in different contexts.
- service projects that try to work together with those being served and build relationships together in the location.
- adventure trips to build new skills and see how God made and works in the world.
- and who knows what else but it excites me to think about it!
this group moves together in partnership with one or more adults that care in them and are willing to invest and live life together with them and invite them into their families.
maybe nothing is new here, but it’s different as we change things around, change the focus to small “youth groups” and keep the idea of making and marking paradise. [God’s action and interaction!]
any comments or ideas?