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.
“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.