Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Survey Says...

I asked a group of about 20 high school upperclassmen recently, "What brings about spiritual growth in your life?" Here are some of the answers:
  • "I know that everything has a meaning and a purpose. God is taking me through life. Also I am encouraged when I hear others' testimonies of how God has been faithful to them.
  • "When I persevere through trials; and those trials brought lessons.
  • "Being around people and seeing their lifestyles.
  • "When I can't trust others and have tough times with them I know God is with me.
  • "When I'm going through dry times I know that God is always there. I measure my spiritual growth by my actions. Even though I'm dry, I'm growing spiritually.
  • "The reality of spiritual warfare and how to love others better.
  • "My small group; I rely on them.
  • "When I have failed trials.
What are the common themes here? What main things spur spiritual growth in students?
1. Trials.
2. Bonds with other believers.

Questions I ask myself: How can my youth ministry programming better reflect students' processes of spiritual growth in these 2 key areas (of trials and relationships)?

My trusty side-kick Jonathan reminded me that these two components were mentioned in Duffy Robbins classic book , The Ministry of Nurture (first published in 1990!). It just so happens I'll see Duffy today!

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