Friday, February 1, 2008

Youth Ministry Vision Casting, Part 2

A vision is like staring off into the future and seeing where you're going. It's like getting into your car and knowing where you're planning to drive to. The problem, for many, is vision often requires you to imagine a place you've never been (real places, not science fiction). So it's sort of like trying to get to New York, NY from Houston,TX without the use of a map and without having been there before.

Okay. . .that's a vision to go and see places. What about a vision that will take people places in their walk with Christ? The kind of leadership and direction that really drives people toward the likeness of Christ. . .that's the kind of vision we're talking about.

I see it sort of like this. . .we were all once lost. We didn't know Christ. And then we were found and discovered something totally different. Many of us are in Christ but we're still lost. We have no direction and the Church hasn't given us any direction. I really think most Christians believe Christianity is about walking down an isle, getting dunked in water (or sprinkled for my Methodist friends), taking up space on a pew on Sunday morning, and listening to someone talk about living a "good" life. That's it! That's all the Church has to offer. Or at least that's about all its been offering for too long.

For too long the Church has chased after lofty goals and has proven to the un-Churched that the Church really doesn't know what it's doing and really doesn't have the answers. The Church may "know" the truth but it really doesn't have a clue of what to do with it or how to communicate it. Satan has his part in this, but I'm not about to give him the credit for the Church's great folly. We've messed it up and it's our fault.

More than anything I believe teenagers (adults too) struggle with vision in their life. They have very little direction and the wrong direction they end up following leaves them chasing after the things that will destroy them. Our young boys don't know how to become men, so they make up their own set of "rites of passage" to manhood, which often equates to manhood meaning (to them) going all the way with a girl. The Church may have tried to combat that, with it's "talks about living the 'good' life" but talking about it doesn't fix the problem. We need to take greater action and we need ever member of the Church to do the same but they need vision.

The church has failed to do the following:
  1. Show the world that they were created with a purpose so they know their part in God's plan.
  2. Give people a passion for the Church by showing them why we do what we do (showing them what we're for more than what we're against).
  3. Give them a glimpse of the future, letting them know what the future holds through sharing where we're going.
  4. Showing them how we're going to get there!
Over the next few blogs that's my topic! I'll be looking at what I strongly feel needs to be brought back into the Church, especially in how this applies to Youth Ministry. And just so you know, I'm not sitting up on a high pedestal looking down on the mistakes of everyone else (the Church). It's only over the past few year or so that I've began to see that change is needed, and I plan to implement what God is showing me in the ministry where I serve.

I firmly believe that vision is like the cure for cancer for the Church.


Laurie said...

God is going to use you in such a huge way there with the vision that is in your heart. The church really does need shaking up when it comes to our youth. They need us to show them how to get to the Lost and Found so they can be claimed by Jesus. I will be praying for your vision to blossom as your heart is truly on the road less traveled. May your vision start a fire to light the way for others to follow.

Love, Laurie in Ca. (A mother and grandmother who cares)

TerryKM said...

Thank you Laurie.

RiLes said...

Hey, first time reader here. I've been following Nate's blog and clicked on your link from there. I'm one of our church's youth leaders/volunteers and am excited to see what you have to say about this topic. I've only been volunteering for this past school year, so I'm still learning a lot. Thanks for taking the time to post about this!

TerryKM said...

Thanks Riles. Hopefully it won't be disappointing.