Youth Ministry is not…
28 January 2015
… Baby-sitting teens and playing games on a Friday night. If it were, I would have quit this job a long time ago!!!
(Recently, I got engaged, and someone in my church then said to me: ‘Now, you need to get a real job.’ I know, he said it in jest. But as the saying goes, many a true word is spoken in jest.)
His comment bugged me!
Because he is probably in a list of many who think less or are unsure of what youth ministry is.
As youth workers, our audience may mainly involve teens. But does that make it a non-grown up job?
How come teachers don’t get that flak from others?
They have critical jobs with children and teens. Their words have the power to build or break down. They are critical in that young person’s educational development.
(To this, very day, I can remember some important teachers in my school career.)
Come to think of it, I think of my very own youth pastor, Lee; with great fondness too.
His role in my life. His encouraging presence. His belief in me. Changed my life a whole lot.
Youth ministry is far more than just playing silly games.
We’re the ones who hear the life stories and struggles of teens.
We sit with the youngster who wants to take their life.
We journey alongside youth who have it rough at home.
We speak words of love and encouragement to the youth.
We plan lessons and bible studies, for one reason: to introduce to them a very real and living God.
Who loves them just as they are!
Who made this beautiful world that we find ourselves in!
Who is using ordinary people like you and I to alleviate the brokenness in the world.
In youth ministry, we teach teens:
That life is far more than just about themselves.
That they need to live for justice.
That they need to be gracious to all.
That they are human beings not human doings.
We as youth pastors:
– Are representatives for Jesus
– Spokespersons on behalf of God (what a humbling call.)
– An older sibling
– A counsellor
Youth ministry can’t be boxed into a 9-5 job…
It can’t really be boxed at all…
So this is an ode to youth pastors and youth workers alike!
Keep doing what you do.
The youth need you.
And God is thankful for the effort you put in.