Friday, January 23, 2009

What Frustrates You About Youth Ministry?

I think the group of youth workers I meet with are awesome. We asked each other to respond to the question, "What frustrates you about Youth Ministry?" The answers revealed a group of young men who really care about kids and who get mad when kids aren't treated right.
What Frustrates Us...
Church board discussions where they talk about the thermostat in the gym rather than how we can reach the unchurched.
Getting a phone call before every event by the same parent asking, “What time is it?”
Kids who don’t come because they have a relational problem with other kids.
Loving a needy kid.
Parents’ bad influence of kids.
“Country Club Christians”.
Being without a senior pastor.
Church parents who tell daughter, “You’re at church too much.”
Sponsors who call 2 minutes before the event to say they won’t be there.
Parents who wrongly believe their kids are perfect.
I’ve been constipated for about 3 days.
Sr. high kids with no passion; bad attitudes.
Getting the leadership to listen to me.
Getting the parents to catch our vision.
When one kid doesn’t come and then the other kids don’t come because others don’t come.
Eighteen year old boys whose mothers do all the work for them.
Elders and deacons who don’t get on board.
Not being taken seriously by the elders.
Losing a large senior class.
Not feeling like I’ll ever thrive financially in ministry.
Not getting a mental break from ministry.
Leaving a church and find out that no one is caring for your youth group.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Effective Ministry: Don't Build a House in a Graveyard

A friend of mine said, "Don't build a house in a graveyard." We were talking about church planting. His obvious point was that we should find ministry spots that yield fruit. Don't waste precious resources for no gain.
Jesus modeled and taught his disciples this principle: "Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. [11] And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them." Mark 6:10-11 (NIV)
I think this principle can be applied on a large scale (church planting) or on a small scale (individual, personal).
Here's what I need to do to avoid building a house in a graveyard:
  • Listen to God's Spirit throughout the day. He'll lead you to the right people and situations.
  • Avoid comfortable endeavors that don't produce fruit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

That's Why I Do It

Dozens of high school students were clustered in pairs and 3's and 4's with caring youth workers. I walked back and forth between the groups, praying, looking at the intensity of kids dealing with God, and, more importantly for me, filling my soul.
Thomas Young had challenged 900 students to come to Christ on Saturday night at the IMPACT conference. After a year of planning by our team we got to see the fruit. This is why I direct the IMPACT conference...
  • A youth leader shared that 5 of his 15 students came to Christ at Impact. With a gleam in his eye, this volunteer leader said he will have to "reassess his youth curriculum for this coming semester" ( by the way, who wouldn't want a 30% conversion rate in their ministry?).
  • A 16 year old girl followed up with me after my breakout seminar...she wants to stop cutting and burning herself. She wants to one day wear a wedding dress without scars showing.
  • Something hit home with another girl in my breakout; she was in tears talking with a caring adult.
  • Another kid shared with her leader her struggle with sexual identity issues.
  • A junior is close to giving Christ his life.
I need to reassure myself more frequently, "This is why I do what I do."