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Thoughts On Youth Ministry

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve posted this before in a matter of speaking, but it’s been on my mind lately.

The odds according to all the statistical gurus claim that students won’t be in church after high school.  Well, whatever you believe with the statistics, that’s fine.

It makes me sometimes look at my group and wonder who will be the ones to stay and who will be the ones to go?

I look at Facebook quite a bit (a wonderful ministry tool) and catch up with old friends from high school as well as youth group.  Of the students who are on Facebook from my youth group days, it’s a sad thing to look at what’s going on in personal lives.  To see where they were, and to see where they ended up is amazing.  So much potential, so much ability, and it seems like it is being squandered in a lot of ways.  I am happy to see some of them still living a Christian life.  But I begin to question, what made the difference?

We all had the same backgrounds – white middle class Christian families with two parents.  We were all committed to being at church on Sundays, Wednesdays, and pretty much any other event.  We heard the same lessons.  We went to the same camps.  We went to the same retreats.  So what gives?

What makes the difference in a student’s life to say, “That’s it, this is for real!  I’m never turning away.”  And for another to say, “That was just a small part of my life.  I might go back to it, but probably not.  For now, it’s what I want and need.”

I just wonder.  I wonder what could have been.  I wonder why.  I wonder lots of things.

Maybe its just me, but it seems like I’m working in a depressing job with the statistics that face the students.  Somehow, this pushes me to keep going.  What happens when your students suddenly say, “This is it!  This is for me for life!  No turning back!”  That’s the payoff.  That’s the future of the church.  

About 16 months worth of youth ministry, and I have to ask…How do we do this?

Of course, if someone had the answer, then what’d be the point of having youth pastors to pour their lives into these students?  Someone who could retain 100% of students is super human.  Students make decisions.  Students are the ones who go their own way.  

It’s a rambling blog, nonetheless, it speaks truth. Statistics are stacked against students.  How do we turn the stats?  If I knew, I’d be the first one to share it.

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