Have you ever took the time to sit back and ask yourself, “Why do I do the things that I do?” Well, I like to do just that! I like to remove myself from the forest so that I can get a good look a tree or two. In other words, I like to remove myself from the “big picture” so that I can see some specific things.
For example, over this past summer we canceled the youth weekly meetings. Yes, this was different and upsetting to some, but it provided us with the opportunity to have a break from the norm of the past, so that we could get ready for the new move of God in the future. What this break allowed me to do was to sit back away from the forest to take a closer look at why we do what do through the family and youth ministries of Perrow Church.
What is the purpose behind family and youth ministry? For example, why do we have children’s church and a youth program? What is the reasoning behind? What need are they trying to meet? Why do we do the things the way that we do?
Let’s answer some of these questions for the family and youth ministry. Why do we have our meetings the way that we do?
What is the purpose of a youth ministry in a local church? Is it to provide a place to meet new people, to build relationships, to play games, to teach the Bible, or to reach those that have not encountered Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
Who should run the youth ministry in the local church? Should a pastor fill all of the above mentioned roles as social director, activity and game organizer, as Biblical scholar, and evangelist extraordinary? Should the youth minister be a cross between a comedian and an academic scholar able to engage youth with both humor and wit?
With these two questions in mind I believe….
….that the purpose of a youth ministry is to provide an opportunity for committed parents, caregivers, and youth to Christ an opportunity to not only reach out to youth that are not born-again believers, but to incorporate them into meaningful relationships. This means that a youth ministry should be ran by multiple families, parents, caregivers, and youth who serve as missionaries in their local community.
How does such a change affect youth ministry? Honestly, it doesn’t have to change to much, just a different emphasis on who does what is changed. For example, families, in particular dad’s (check this out http://jessewisnewski.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/the-greatest-youth-ministers-ever-are/) are to lead their families in the worship of God. So youth should primarily be obtaining the things of the faith in and through their homes. Consequently, the church should serve as a support to the family by providing both encouragement and resources. Therefore, youth should recieve all that they need and more at home and families should not anticipate and/or expect the church to fill the role that God has called them to serve in.
So, what happens to traditional youth ministry?
Well, check back and find out later!