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Youth pastors become fearless when they don't give a rats butt about anything other than what God is telling them to do. God is love and fear is not in love.

Rare and Radical Youth Ministry

What is our youth ministries view of students?
My view: Fearless, Radical Revolutionaries, and that hate comfort.

Some times youth pastors and youth groups get in the way of what God is calling this student generation to do for Him. I would be willing to bet that many youth ministries adult leadership teams are more about trying to prove themselves to something/someone or even to themselves.  Honestly, think about how much adults get in the way of students actually and fully becoming who God intended them to be.

It is sad to admit that our youth groups and youth ministry programmatic structures are producing nice students who are making some-what okay decisions.

I have no research to back up this claim, but I think students are wanting:

– to spread their wings and fly while feeling safe and protected

-be apart of something with impact

-treated as if they were 30

Kenda Dean from Princeton Youth Institute states:  Youth Ministry is a crystal ball: Wanna see the church in 20 yrs? Look at youth.

In the Bible, there are no age limits in order to do great things for God.  The younger the better.  Nobody in the Bible had to take a spiritual litmus test in order to do something extraordinary. For example:

Josiah was 8 years old when he became King (2 Chronicles 34.1).  Josiah’s reign was a time of Judean national resurgence.  Basically a teenager was leading a reform.

Jonathan was a young man who provoked war with the Philistines, the enemy on the coast, though Israel was weak and badly armed at that time (1 Samuel 13:23).  It was the heavy weights (Philistines) vs. the light weights.

Youth pastors need to see 8 year olds as royalty. God wonderfully made each student in our youth group.  “Wonderfully made” actually means set apart so that student can do some great things for the Kingdom of God.

Why do youth pastors hold back?
Because we are scared of:  parents, boards, unexpected results, senior pastors, budgets, and that one of our students might do something “too crazy and get hurt”.
Unfortunately, youth pastors work and live in a church culture that has no guts.  Seriously why is the church one of the many non-radical and rambunctious organizations?  Youth pastors have not seen what courageous and fearless leadership looks like so we mimic and model what we see from our church leadership.

Youth pastors become fearless when they don’t give a rats butt about anything other than what God is telling them to do. God is love and fear is not in love.
The Message 2 Corinthians 5.13:  If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” Rom 8:14 (message)

Uncomfortable Challenge To Youth Pastors:

**Do one extreme event outside of the church walls that requires your students hands to get really dirty and they have to interact with non-believers.

**Once a month during youth group, let your students preach, pray for others, and prophesy.

**Ask your students what is one of their dreams that relates to furthering the Kingdom of God!

**Do two-three different events that have never been on the “church” calendar.

**Find a ministry opportunity for your youth that makes you feel uncomfortable.


About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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3 comments

  1. I agree! We need to raise up students who live out the counter-cultural, upside-down call of Christ to saturate their lives and their world with the message of the Gospel. Challenge them to lead now! Let them lead now!

  2. U nailed it, in youth or college U have to believe that every time your infront of your group it may be your last. If it is possable going to be your last what do U have to lost. Push the boundries of your message say what they may never hear again. and most important do not be afraid it may just be your last Wedsday. live love serve for HIM!!!!!!

  3. I completely agree! I came across this post when searching for Radical Student Ministry. I just finished my own blog post on this and found yours very encouraging. I really do not want to hold my students back and want to see them accomplish great things for a great God! http://marshallharper.blogspot.com/2011/10/radical-student-ministry.html

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