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Reflections of Youth Ministry

November 12, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, I have been a youth pastor for almost six months now.  It is different than what we studied in college?  For sure.  I feel like I received a top notch training at FWBBC for youth ministry, but they can only do so much.  I was taught a lot of practical stuff that is coming into play now.  I was taught a lot of youth ministry philosophy that is coming into play now.  It’s great.

This morning I was thinking a bit about my days in youth group.  I look at the people that I shared time with while I was in youth group.  I started looking to see where some of them were.  I don’t keep up with many of them, but the ones I know where they are, it is quite surprising, just to be honest.  Some of them are not even in church.  It fits right along with all of the scary statistics we see about young adults in the church today.  I look at where they are and I wonder, how can two people who grew up in the same youth group, have the same involvement in the youth group and church, grow up in Christian homes, and be seemingly dedicated to the Lord throughout their teenage years, wind up in two complete opposite places, and not just geographically.  I look at where some of my friends are, and it saddens me.  I remember the days at youth camp, the nights in youth group meetings, the retreats, and even just the conversations.  I remember the tears that were cried at the altars, the smiles that were shared after things were straightened out.  

I am far from claiming that I am perfect, as I look at my life and claim the same things that Isaiah says in Chapter 6 about being a man of unclean lips.  Yet, for some of them, it appears they have forgotten those joyous days as a youth group.  They have forgotten the things they left at the altar.  They have forgotten the decisions and promises they’ve made.  They almost seem like they just don’t care.

This effects me for two reasons.

1.) These were some of my closest friends.  We had thirty teens come together and be in the youth group and worship and have fun.  We shared spiritual moments.  It was so real.  And now, I don’t know where all of them are, but I know it’s well over half have little or no involvement in the local church.  It hurts to see where some of them have ended up.

2.) Where will the kids in my youth group be in five years?  Will I look back and wonder what happened to some of them?  Will I be able to find them filling the pews, classes, pulpits of local churches?  Or will I find old pictures of the last time they went to church?  To make an impact on teenagers and lead them to spiritual maturity that lasts until their last breath…that’s my goal.  My goal is to watch children who come on Wednesday night grow up through the church, and one day, down the road, be a pastor, a teacher, a mechanic…who is dedicated and loves God with all his or her heart.  

How do you do it?  How do we reverse the trend that has been set?  How do we change the percentages to 85% of teenagers will stay in the church and become leaders, instead of 85% of teens will leave the church?  I hope I can find out soon.

  1. November 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Something I am coming to believe is this:

    It’s not that young adults don’t love God anymore. It’s that they don’t see how the church is essential to their lives.

    Young adults don’t have a problem with God. They have a problem with His bride.

  2. November 12, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Another thing.

    I’m not so sure young adults are wrong either.

  3. Derek
    November 12, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I agree with your statement. What can we do to fix the problem? This is a problem that is not fixing itself. It actually is getting worse. What can the “bride” do?

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