As a youth leader there has to be at least a level of immaturity about you, or so I believe. You’re entitled to your own opinion if you disagree, but just so you know, I just rolled my eyes at you. I highly doubt that anyone in my teen class is any more excited to get to Wednesday night class than I am, unless it’s one of the three other teen leaders who would also roll their eyes at you if you told them to grow up. It’s a fun time. We love the youth of Victory Baptist Church and try our very best to teach relative, culturally aware lessons to the teens that will help them in their growth as a Christian and leave them with bible knowledge, not just a feel good lesson.
Whenever possible I treat them as equals. Let’s face reality… if you have a room full of teens there is at some point the necessity of saying “If you two don’t knock it off I’m sending you up stairs.” I could probably count on one hand the times I have to say that, for the most part they’re a respectful group of people. They’re also a hoot to hang around. That’s why I have no desire to grow up. Teens keep me in touch with reality. While I’m trying to stay culturally tuned in to what they’re tuning into, I’m also staying culturally aware of what’s dragging them away from the gospel.
Here’s a few misnomers of youth ministry…
Youth don’t want to learn about Jesus
Wrong. Adults don’t want to tell them about Jesus, because most adults are not prepared to answer the questions that might derive from talking about Jesus. Teens are eager to learn about Jesus and are concerned about their future. They’ve heard just enough about end times to make it a very scary issue and one that’s easier to ignore than face the reality of an unsaved existence during those times. What peace they’re afforded when they’re brought up in a church that teaches end time events and the reality of how God takes care of His people.
Youth are too involved in other activities to take the time for church:
Wrong. Parents are too apt to encourage youth to place other activities over church. It also allows them to lay out of church to “support” their children. Yes… I’m a tad bitter.
But I watch as parents will pump thousands of dollars into extracurricular activities in hopes of giving their kids an edge and yet will scoff at a request for a few extra dollars for a youth event at church. Please tell me the percentage of kids who actually use their extracurricular skills post-graduation and I’ll counter that statistic with my own which is – 100% of them will face God in eternity. I win.
I could argue this till the cows come home, but those who need the message are not likely to tune in to www.theJesusChick.com. So why bother right? Because I know there are other youth workers out there who understand when they hear the scripture in Matthew 19:14 ~ “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
The disciples were viewing children as a distraction to the ministry… they are the ministry! Sometimes as a youth worker when you’re begging for teachers and ministry help, it almost feels like they look at you as a distraction. Heaven forbid we should disrupt the regularly scheduled service for a good time, and in so doing lead a child to Christ.
This message is for my comrades in the ministry, to help you understand the importance of immature people like me who enjoy telling young people about Jesus. Jesus is still the “funnest” Guy I know. And the opportunity to work with youth who are not jaded by life is one of the greatest experiences and learning opportunities a grown up can have; b
ecause for those few hours we spend in the presence of young people we remember what it was like to love Jesus as He intended.
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