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A growing concern…

March 6, 2009 2 comments

These past few weeks as I’ve patiently waited for a signal or flare or something from God indicating some sort of direction, I’ve been thinking about a few things.  One of the possibilities I’ve been considering again is youth ministry.  I know that may come as a shock to those of you who know what we’ve been doing for the past two years, but my feeling is that youth ministry, unlike other “ministries” in the church carries with it many more freedoms than one might think.

With that being said, my initial feeling is that, just by it’s very nature, youth ministry is primed and ready for God to do some pretty amazing things.  And so, as my wife and I consider diving back into student ministry, I’ve got a few reflections from my time here.

1. Family Ministry vs. Youth Ministry

One of the oddities I’ve observed during my time here is the disturbingly obvious disconnect between parents and the lives of their kids.  This disconnection travels all the way down through middle school even into elementary, so it’s not just limited to high school aged kids.  Plug in a movie, video game or iPod and then mom and dad don’t get home until 6:30, TV and dinner til 8:30, then the kids are off to bed… something sounds a little off kilter (Please forgive my generalities).  So, my feeling is that it’s time for those in student ministry to start blazing a new trail.  Instead of a youth minister who, for lack of a better term, babysits and entertains “good church kids,” we need someone who is going to engage the entire family on a spiritual journey that (sorry for the cleche) moves beyond the walls (think prison walls) of our church buildings.  I get the sense that youth and students ministers, in order to be effective for the kingdom in the future, are going to have to find ways to walk along side parents, encouraging and leading them to do the very thing that God has called them to do; to be the spiritual guides for their children.  Ministers cannot carry the responsibility to be solely responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of our children.

2. Studying the actual Bible vs. Studying a book or curriculum that sometimes uses the Bible

This may seem a bit of a duh statement, but think about it for a moment.  I know that there are many, many good Christian books available to us.  In fact, I would argue that God very well could be speaking clearly and articulately through many of these writers.  However, we must consider the authority of scripture and the simple fact that it has stood the test of time as well as, as it is stated within it’s own pages, we discover that is is the living Word of God. So, if scripture cuts to the very core of the human experience, why in the world do we spend so much energy studying, albiet great, books like Purpose Driven Church, Transforming Discipleship or The Wrath of God, among many others?  Basically, what I’m getting at is that is is fine for us to know our stuff and to use the brains the God has given us, but what would it look like for us to use other books as perhaps a suppliment to Scripture?  And, this may sound crazy, but it worked for several thousand years before there was any sort of written text; what if we read large portions of Scripture out loud?  If scripture really is living and active, we should give it a chance to come alive and act in our lives!

These are just a few thoughts… I’m sure there will be more on the way.   But, seems to be a good start.

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