Monday, May 26, 2003

I know I am preaching to the choir but here is something I wrote thought
you'd enjoy.

Gman :o)

Top Ten Reasons Why Youth Ministry?

People seem to have looked at youth ministry as "Glorified
babysitting" or a stepping stone to "Real" (What is Real anyways?)
ministry. When people ask "Why youth ministry?" I answer "Why not?" Here
is a top ten reasons to consider supporting a youth ministry within your

I. Not only are youth the church of the future but they are the Church
today. It helps to train, equip, rebuke, in righteousness in helping them
know God's Word.

2 Timothy 3:16,17.

II. It (Being youth ministry) helps Students to "Go ...." Young people
more than ever are willing to be stretched, used and be out of their
comfort zones than ever before. Thus the Mission Trips and Service
Projects are very important. With trips with your student ministry with
groups like YWAM, CIY, Group and other help students and adults alike to
"Go ye into all the world ..." Matt. 28:19,20.

III. It helps youth ministry be professional more so than ever before.
Youth Ministry is now seen as a must need within the church. It helps
young people lead balanced lives in their mental, social, physical and
spiritual aspects. It clarifies the expectations.

IV. It makes disciples. Matt. 28:19,20. The old stats of 80% of
Christians do so by the age of 18. With such influences as conventions,
camps, retreats.

V. It Teaches. Matt. 28:19, 20 " ...teaching them to obey all things ..."
Education in our Bible Schools, our Bible Colleges, and our campus

VI. It helps simplify the Gospel. Where else can you teach the basics of
the faith and leave a heritage? Acts 4:12; Hebrews 11.

VII. It teaches Unity. John 17. Youth ministry must and does functions
with the rest of the body of Christ. It works with parents, relatives and
the family of God.

1 Cor. 12. I suggest the book Parents' Guide to Spiritual Mentoring of
Building your Child's Faith through the Adolescent Years. Joe White, Jim
Weidmann General Editors. Tyndale House, 2001.

VIII. It builds community. Where else can you love God and Love kids? Be
silly; know that God is there. I know this is the one of the basics Jesus
spent a lot of time with his disciples. Mark 12:28-34.

IX. It is relational. I know a young lady that has been teaching Bible
School for 67years. Why? Her educational style has changed but her
relationships with those she teaches has not. She loves her Lord, and
loves the youth she teaches.

X. It is Life Changing. The impact. The purpose, philosophy, support of
families, crossing the generations makes it all worth it.

So Now we Know Why Youth Ministry, Now What?

One has to envision what their youth ministry is going to look like.
The premise or the purpose behind the reasons for their youth ministry to
which direction they will go.

Here are some practical suggestions to start with.

I. Ask yourself the tough questions. What are we doing right now? What
can we change? How do we do it? What is the purpose? What is our vision,
philosophy or mission statement for the youth ministry here?

II. Set some goals. Recruit. Have job descriptions. Screen your workers,
train, have a budget etc. The Youth Ministry Management Tools Bk from
Youth Specialties comes in Handy here.

III. Have ways to achieve the objectives. Do we have the staff?
Volunteers? PT-time? Full time? What do the youth want? Will there be
mission trips, conventions, classes, worship, service projects, and how
do we support the ministry of families? Be flexible and balanced.

IV. Follow through on your objectives. Start small and build from there.
(Roman wasn't built in one day either).

V. Don't be Discouraged. Youth Ministry is not easy, nor is it meant to
be. What you win them to is what you have to keep them with. If all fun
and games, Guess what you got to continue to do? If Big events and so on
and so forth. Make the ministry your church's, have them own it. Again
Flexibility and balance come into play.

VI. Actually this should of been number 1. Get the support of the
parents. Parents and families need to be ministered to as well.

VII. Have some accountability. Set boundaries, rules etc. Never one Adult
alone with a youth and so forth. Recommend the book Better Safe Than Sued
and Brotherhood Insurance's Reducing the Risk.

VIII. Get the Leadership behind you. Nothing makes or breaks a ministry
more than if the leaders are behind it or not.

IX. Communicate. Overcommunicate. Nothiing does better than to have lots
of PR, and even some of those elderly ladies hear that you have needs for
refreshments. Plus it gets your light too out to the community.

X. Get some resources that can be adopted, adapted to met your students'
own faith journey needs.

So we discussed the Why, Whatm The Who and Where are easy. Who? as in
Who can be involved in youth ministry? Anyone that loves God and loves
youth. We actually do an application and interview so that they know our
mission, beliefs, and philosophy.

The where is at your local congregation. The last question seems to
be How? as in How do I do Youth Ministry? Where do I get some resources?
Doing the Youth Ministry depends on your definition and purpose for the
youth ministry. Ours is based upon the LGLO principle. To Love God, Love
Others. We are a church which tries to have students develop a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ, and along with other youth and adults
establish a Christian community.

We do this through our own objectives of the 4Cs in which we have
students Come, Connect, Committ and be Commissioned. Currently we have
students at various stages of this. As to resources and sites. There are
plenty out there including,

An unknown author once wrote "To touch the past, touch a rock. To touch
the present, touch a rose. To touch the future, touch a child" We that
are involved in youth ministry are doing just that. Touching students
lives with the Love of God. May we continue to press on being the
hospital for sinners, and not letting our youth ministry be some museum
or clique for saints.

- by Gerrard R. Fess Associate Minister Liberty Christian Church
Mechanicsville, Virginia. Sept. 5, 2002. Copyright.

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