We have indirectly talked about youth ministries in the past. But we doubt we have directly focused articles on that ministry. We are sure we were hard on youth pastors and we probably will be again. Why? Because most of them are not properly trained nor have the correct attitude. These two issues are a topic for another day. We are not targeting those church members who volunteer to work with youth. Their efforts should be commended but unfortunately, they may not be up to the task.
Our purpose for writing is the following article
We hope not to criticize or condemn but to merely add our comments to those given and then address a few points raised by that article.
That one student you loved on that one Wednesday night….that same Wednesday night you had a horrible day at work, were tired, and didn’t feel like serving…that one student could be the next Billy Graham, the next President, a missionary who leads hundreds to Jesus, a pastor, a youth pastor, or just someone the Lord uses to reach a whole generation.
We are actually starting at the bottom of that article because it highlights a danger that comes with youth ministry. These are the WRONG reasons to enter the ministry with youth. We are not saying it can’t happen but these issues should not be part of any youth ministry. They are distractions and can lead to confusion, disappointment and disillusionment in the youth leader.
The youth leader should be getting involved with young people because there is a need to develop the young minds spiritually. The burden of the youth leader should be to get the young people the truth, the correct answers to their questions, and to help them mature and grow up. Life is not easy and the parents may appreciate the extra help preparing their children.
This brings us to another issue which needs another article to deal with it properly. I believe it was Ken Ham who has written on the loss of young people once they have entered college. Many, many young people toss away their faith because they were not properly trained to face the skepticism, the unbelief, the hate-filled attitudes of their professors. This is a growing concern.
REASON #1: THERE’S A NEED
Yes there is a need. Sadly, parents are not always equipped to hamdle the spiritual needs of their children and that is the fault of Senior pastors, church leaders and so on. As well as the parents themselves. The parents were given the charge to teach their children but that does not stop the whole community from teaching young people the ways of God, his commandments and his instructions. If you read Deut. 4 you will see God’s teaching instructions to his people.
God also provides the reasons for his instructions. If you do not want to stop at Deut. you can do a word study on education, learning, teaching and similar words and see what God wants parents, youth ministers and pastors to do.
And, if I may speak openly, our children are our biggest commodity. Why wouldn’t we want to invest as much as we can into them? They literally are the future!
This we disagree with. Young people are not a commodity and should not be thought of in such terms. They should be thought of as sinful people who need Jesus as their savior. Then after conversion, they need to be taught correctly so that they fear God and obey his instructions correctly. Adults are the children’s future. How adults teach their chilren will be how they act when the yong person grows up. The Bible tells us this- raise up the child in the path that he shall go and he will not depart from it (we paraphrased a bit).
Parents are to train their children correctly if the child is going to have a good future. The responsibility to train young people falls to the parents first.
REASON #2: BY SERVING YOU SERVE GOD
This is also true. You do serve God by working with youth correctly. We need to add the word correctly because if what you do is not of God or you teach that God is wrong, then you are not servig God but serving someone else. The Bible speaks of false teachers and these people teach youth today. False teachers claim to be Christian, yet willfully teach things God, Jesus and the Bible did not teach. The word willfully has to be added because some people do make mistakes or do not understand scripture fully but they are not false teachers, they are merely mistaken, misguided or do not know enough to teach others.
I dare say, would we be hindering students coming to Jesus by choosing not to invest in them if God has clearly told us He wants us to serve in student ministry?
This we do not totally agree with because of the wording. The writer may not understand the passage he is alluding to and quoted earlier in the paragraph. it is doubtful if you say no to the call to serve God in youth ministry that you are hindering anyone from knowing Jesus. You are just being disobedient. God can and will raise someone else up to do the ministry.
The heavy-handed phrasing in that quote is not right and it is laying guilt on those who may not feel that call nor have the desire to work with youth. Pastors tend to go a little overboard in their application of the Bible when they see a need they want filled.
REASON #3: IT PAYS DIVIDENDS
While this does take place, it is the wrong reason to get involved with youth. We do not go into youth minstry to get rewards, etc. We go in because we love God and we want to bring the truth to the lives of the young. We want to teach them correctly, answer thier questions with the truth, and guide them through life until they know how to do it themselves.
We do not go into ministry for our own selfish ideas.
Are you the type of person who likes to make investments and make a profit on such investments? Investing in the lives of students pays dividends. Student ministry is considered both the hardest ministry in the church, the most often overlooked and under appreciated ministry, and yet, at the same time, one of the most rewarding ministries in the church
We will disagree with all of this and a lot more that is not quoted but found in that paragraph. These are the wrong reasons to go into any ministry. Plus, every ministry is difficult, under-appreciated but still rewarding. These words are mere manipulation not God-given reasons to enter youth ministry. One main thing we do not like about this article is that God’s word seems to be absent and not supporting their plea.
I’m not writing this to make you feel guilty, to sway you, or make you feel like you have to serve in youth ministry. I just wanted to share three reasons why you should consider serving. The first step is to seek the Lord. Ask God if He wants you to serve in youth ministry. If He does, don’t hesitate. Jump in as soon a possible.
Too late. He should have started the article and his 3 reasons with the rest of that quote. But as we heard in a lecture from Dr.Jimmy Dirrado in our undergrad days, sometimes you can volunteer and say to God, I want to serve you. The Bible backs that up when Paul wrote the words “if any man desires the office…” Serving in the ministry does not depend on a call. You can have a simple desire to do that work. BUT you need to meet the requirements first.
Teaching the truth is not easy and James warns us about becoming a teacher. You need to make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into. Youth or any ministry is not just any other type of job. It is important, you are representing God and his words and need to lead the people to God correctly.
Besides, as a youth pastor, we will never turn down someone who genuinely wants to serve and is able. Of course, there are background checks, screenings, and such before we let someone serve in our student ministry. We don’t just let anyone just show up and serve at M2L Students without first talking with us
The problem with this process is that it leaves God out of the mix. It also stops people who have had their lives changed by Jesus from entering the ministry and serving God. The secular world does not place the requirements on God’s work. God does and we need to look to him for confirmation and direction. The disciples did not look to secular government when they sought to replace Judas or other disciples.
Jesus did not follow secular government when he changed the life of Paul and then sent him into ministry. We are not to look at the surface and disqualify someone God has cleansed and appointed to be a minister. We follow God and his requirements.
But anyone that show interests we inquire about and we allow the Lord to direct us from there. Wherever you…whatever church you call home….will you allow the Lord to direct your next steps if you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to serve in your church’s youth minsitry?
No one can change their past. It should not be held over their heads. The past is often used to ignore the truth, the work of evil and the redemptive nature of Christ. But this does not mean we blindly accept people either. We need discretion, discernment, and look to God for help when appointing someone to ministry. The disciples did,so should we. We need to recognize our limitations when it comes to the hearts of men.
Also, do a word study on the term ‘truth’ and see who God is and what he wants taught to his creation.