Many youth pastors are talking about what it means to be “missional”, but no one really is sure what it means. Being missional means the youth pastor is sending their students OUT (of the youth room and) into the community.
Youth pastors need to stop playing youth room idol. A pimped out youth room does not determine the health of a youth group. Pimped out youth rooms are very similar to cosmetic surgery. First impressions are important, but unfortunately pimped out youth rooms are sending wrong impressions about the values systems within the Kingdom of God. I find it ironic how youth pastors will be super stoked to teach Matthew 5 (sermon on the Mount) in a pimped out youth room. It does not make theological sense… It is like a home school kid attending a secular public university. It does not add up and align.
Missional youth ministries don’t glorify and pimp out their youth ministry rooms. Missional youth ministry value being mobilized into the community rather than being centralized in a mansion.
So you may be saying, “I get it, youth rooms are bad. So how can a youth pastor avoid the pimp my youth room syndrome?” Consider the following alternatives.
* Turn your youth room into a tutor center or a day care, or a rec rooms or a homeless shelter or even storage.
* sell all your nice flat screen tvs, ping pong tables, video games, and Foosball tables on ebay or craigslist and use that money to bless somebody else.
* Meet in the community somewhere. Find third place communities. Third place communities are places where everyone belongs.
* Plan events outside of the church.