So many youth groups are becoming social time. I recently surveyed job postings for youth pastors around the US. Nearly every posting mentioned that they want a youth pastor who is good at running programs. Words like ‘high energy’ were all over the postings. These postings were in stark contrast to those who were looking for a pastor to foster relationships and build true disciples. I’m not saying that you can’t have both, but we tend to be focused on one or the other.
I got this message from a teen who is having a serious problem with this. Katie from Georgia writes:
I’m 14 years old. I’m just wondering what I can do for my church…and God. I try to go to church on Sundays. I LOVE to help out with vacation Bible school in the summer. I don’t go to Wednesday night youth group because it’s mainly just time for kids to socialize. I want it to be more about God and not time to socialize. I don’t go on mission trips for the church because I get terribly homesick. I just want to know if there is anything else I can do for my church. I love God sooooo much and want to do more for him, but I’m not sure what I can do other than pray and worship.
OK, guys, if our teens are seeing it, then we ought to take this seriously. I want to challenge the youth pastor’s out there. Here’s some questions for discussion:
- In a few words, what is your philosophy of Youth Ministry?
- Do you gauge success in ministry by numbers or spiritual fruit?
- How do you define spiritual fruit?
- What does the Bible say about how to do Youth Ministry?
My prayer is that you will consider these things and that the Spirit will challenge you to make changes in your ministry that will draw students to the throne of grace to find salvation in Jesus Christ by becoming faithful, fruit producing disciples.