Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Youth Min. 101
I have been reviewing a book I have read many years ago, Doug Field’s book Purpose Driven Youth Ministry. I was stuck on a chapter that I had selected four years ago and highlighted with extreme intensity. It’s a chapter on reaching community youth. I was struck on how much I appreciated this chapter after being a youth pastor for 4 years, I had loved it when I first began and read the book but now with experience I was moved by Field’s words: “Evangelism isn’t a program; it’s a process-a process of a person molding his or her transformed life to someone in need of God’s transformational grace.” It is sooo easy to begin to do things that work in youth on a superficial level. Its sooo easy to just put some games together and have a late outing…it is another thing to begin to share your life, your passion and your commitment to Jesus with others, through how you live. I have been committed to my youth; I love them and spend endless hours thinking about them, spending time with them, praying for them, each with their own story, their own struggles and joys. There have been many days last year that felt like I cannot do this anymore. And what I have realized again reading Fields, is that often many of my worries were stuck on putting a program that the youth will ALL love, games that all like…fields writes: “we don’t have the resources to create programs attractive enough to compete with the world. Neither do you. We do have life-changing content (the truth of God’s Word) and caring relationships with which the world can’t compete. This truth is what I want our students to understand.” I am again reminded that it is all about relationships…and further then that, my relationship with Jesus matters first. I am committed to continuing the process of loving, praying and being there for the youth I have been trusted with in this community, but also focusing on my own faithfulness…I am excited for being reminded of the story that I am in, and the joy in seeing where God is working and joining Him in that work…I think I looked away for a bit.
On another note…the Vancouver trip was awesome…stay tuned for pictures from the trip, including a picture of my buddy Clint and I hugging Kelly Hrudey.