For this week’s Student Ministry post, I wanted to share with all of you an article I wrote for the church’s newsletter during my first month of ministry here. You’ll see what I find to be the most valuable in ministry and why I long for the entire church to be involved in the lives of teenagers. Enjoy!
When you think about youth ministry, what’s the first thing that comes into your mind? Is it the high-energy crazy games? Is it memories of your time in a student ministry, learning about what Jesus wants you to do or how to avoid sin? Do you think about an individual who was there for you in a difficult time, pointing you to Jesus and giving you hope when you felt like there was none? Do you think about the potential this “future generation” of the church holds?
Certainly, many ideas and stigmas exist regarding youth ministry in the church today. Many churches are beginning to truly understand the importance of a ministry to teenagers as they see the struggles adolescence presents, which have become all the more apparent with social media on the scene. We know the issues are present, and many of us believe that the church needs to step in and help. The question is: what role does a youth ministry play in reaching those youth?
Youth ministries thrive through community that is built on the Word of God. The beauty of this community is that teenagers don’t just thrive in the community they have with one another, but they need connections to the church as a whole. The reality is that many of these teens are facing adult problems without the adult experiences necessary to properly process these problems. They need adults like you and me to demonstrate how to hold on to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of difficult times. They need relationships with trusted leaders in the group, but they also need relationships with the church as a whole.
I believe teenagers contribute so much to the mission of the church, and my wife and I are looking forward to continuing to shape the youth ministry of Mountain Creek into a place where the Word of God is taught, community with one another and the church is vibrant, and parents are equipped with the tools and resources needed to train their kids up in the knowledge of the Lord. We look forward to getting to know your families, and to partnering with you to train the teenagers of the local body to share the gospel with the lost in the community. Will you join us in praying that Mountain Creek would be a church known for a culture of discipleship and making a difference in today’s teenagers?