Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where Is The Youth Ministry Going?

The Youth Leadership Team has been talking about where we're going. We have been meeting for about 4 months talking about this subject (we don't meet often; I don't like meetings). Pretty soon school is about to start and we're trying to gear up for it.

At our last meeting we decided there are three main areas we need to place our focus on:
  1. Youth can't wait to get to school and invite their friends.
  2. The youth group is serious about developing a relationship with God.
  3. Students know their Bible.
This isn't the only thing we need to give our attention to, if so then we would have a very incomplete ministry. But as we looked at where we are at this moment these were the ones we knew we needed to work on the most for now. Our focus may change in another 6 months; in fact I'm willing to bet it will change within a year.

How did we come to this conclusion?
  1. We're small and we know youth can reach youth better than we can. We want them to really want to invite their friends because something awesome is happening here. Not simply to increase our numbers or because of some lame guilt trip that if they don't invite their friends then they aren't really close to God. We want our youth to be excited about what happens at church.
  2. We see our youth, as a whole, either not see their need for God or treat God as an elective in life, an extracurricular activity. We want our youth to see God as THE ACTIVITY!
  3. We've noticed that pretty much all of our youth can name maybe 3 books of the Bible. They haven't grown up in an environment immersed with the Bible or attending church. This also means that every time they're asked to turn somewhere in a Bible it becomes a "teachable moment" because they for most of them, they have infrequently (or never) ever opened a Bible before. And this also means they don't know even the most common bible stories (Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Moses and the Red Sea, Adam and Eve, etc.).
For those of you reading from back home, let's just say Sarah and I are not in the Bible-Belt anymore! I know that the youth currently coming are not the norm around here. Most youth know a little more about the Bible than the group I currently have, but these youth are coming and they're interested. Praise God!

Tomorrow night the Youth Leadership Team are getting together to talk about how we can accomplish these three goals, which we strongly feel God has put before us. We'll be discussing strategies and tactics while we try to gear up for the new school year.


Rick Lawrenson said...

I'd encourage you to re-examine the PD model that builds a church (or in your case) a youth group from the outside (community) in, rather than building a core then reaching from the inside out.

TerryKM said...

In many ways I think I am trying to hold to the Purpose Driven model. As I re-read what I type I see how "inward" it looks.

Even with the PD model you have to start somewhere. We're pretty much starting with the Introducing People to Christ and Connect Them To Other Christians.

What we're exploring is how we should begin the Introducing and Connecting.