There are many different views out there on how to do youth ministry! I have been trying to figure out how to put what I strongly believe into words that others could understand. In my experience of working with youth groups, there seems to be 2 types of groups: Those where the teens come & those where the teens have a passion to serve the Lord. I’ve always wondered what the difference was. As I have started a few youth groups, and worked with previous existing youth groups, I have come to this conclusion:
WE MUST PLACE EXPECTATIONS OF GODLINESS ON THE YOUTH (reading the Bible and putting it into practice, coming to youth group regularly, going to church, loving the newcomer etc.) and strive to see 1 Timothy 4:12 & 2 Timothy 2:22 in action. – This has always been my goal. And, as I’ve done this, I’ve seen two different responses. One response is that a number of young people rise to the occasion and actually walk the walk, take Jesus seriously and grow in their faith. However, there is another response from the youth—and opposite reaction to growing in their faith.
It seems as though many youth don’t actually want to be all that godly. They are content with simply showing up and not taking Jesus with much degree of seriousness. These youth tend to drop out of the group or slowly fade away as time goes by.
Now, please hear me, I’m not saying that their leaving is a good thing. Far from it. However, this doesn’t mean that we simply adopt the “just show up and we’ll all be happy principle”. We must shape our youth ministries to encourage and equip godly behavior. In fact, this must be the expectation placed on those who claim to want to follow Jesus. Think Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler – Jesus places godly demands on him, the young man walks.
The one great thing is, when the godly rise to the challenge, everyone wins and the program begins to hum. Bible study is appreciated, worship is hearty, prayer is expected and desired and evangelism is seen as crucial.
So, in short, here is what I’m saying:
-Placing godly expectations on your youth group is a wise, Biblical thing to do (eg. Colossians 1:28).
-Realize that there will be two different reactions (eg. Luke 18:18-25).
-While one will be sad and somewhat painful, the other will be glorious, and, offsets the negative.