Earlier this summer I spent a week with friends at a place that has meant the world to me. It was one of those surreal moments. The kind where you’re reminded that life is a great teacher and that we have a God who doesn’t waste experiences.
Sometimes in the way we talk with young people, we convince them adolescence is a time to survive, a time to move on. We say things like I’ve been there too. Or, Back in High School I went through this. And then of course, the classic— You think you have it hard now, well, when I was your age…
Perhaps inadvertently, our language paints adolescents as a season of life to ‘get through’ or ‘survive.’ But God has not created us to merely survive or get from one place to the other. He created us to live fully today. And that includes our teenage years.
*This is the second post on viewing Youth Ministry through the lens of family.
Previously I wrote about viewing our youth ministries through the lens of family. The reason for this is we often get caught up in a game of program centered ministry, which is an oxymoron because managing a program isn’t ministry at all.
Ministry is about people.
Our weekly programs play a significant role in that process, but they exist only to strengthen our ministry
One of the more common illustrations of a pastor in the New Testament was a shepherd caring for his flock. Perhaps this is a metaphor that loses its potency in time, but that imagery of protecting, guiding, and nurturing is part of our call to ministry.
Part of being a pastor is, well, being pastoral. When we act like a family, we create a space where leaders are shepherds, seeking to support and care for our young people.
Do we create ministries where multiple shepherds care and guide sheep? If not, what might it look like to head in that direction? I have a few thoughts: