Enjoying the Journey
Thank God for faithful youth workers. As a parent of two teenagers I realize more than ever that no one raises their children alone. My wife and I praise God for every youth pastor, youth pastor’s wife, teacher, coach, administrator, and choir leader who influence our children…and we pray for them. We need them. Our kids need them.
The role of youth leaders is more indispensable than ever. They cannot take the place of parents or the pastor, but they can extend the influence of both. Youth workers are key in strengthening two God ordained institutions – the home and the local church.
Much of our ministry has been with young people and helping to train those who work with them. Just today I did a special recording for a friend who is leading a dynamic youth ministry in a great church. I believe that youth workers are on the front lines of the spiritual war raging all around us. They are helping hold the line where the enemy is bringing his strongest attacks.
A number of youth directors have asked me recently what advice I could offer to them. Here are my top ten thoughts for those who are leading young people…
- Make much of Jesus. Young people don’t need a steady diet of “hot topics” – they need Christ. Give them the Bible and take them regularly to Calvary. That changes everything.
- Take your kids on a mission trip. Nothing will impact a young person like getting out of their comfort zone and seeing the needs of the world. Help them to see the lost in desperate need of the gospel.
- Teach simple, practical truths. Don’t assume they know. Teach them how to share their testimony, how to listen to a sermon, how to read the Bible effectively. Give attention to the basics.
- Start a prayer meeting. Perhaps the greatest thing you will ever teach a young person is how to talk to God themselves.
- Don’t do all the work for the young people. Design activities so that kids learn to work and to be a help. Train servants at every opportunity.
- Keep technology in its place as a servant and not the master. Kids get enough media on their own. They don’t need another overdose at church.
- Emphasize eternity. You don’t have to work very hard to help kids have fun but you will have to work to help them think seriously about life. “Exhort young men to be sober minds” (Titus 2:6).
- Take your young people to events where they will be around other youth groups. Fellowship outside of your group. It will do teens good to see other teens who are following Christ.
- Get your young people singing. Start a choir or, at least, a small music group. Enthusiastic singing about Jesus is contagious. Get kids around a piano in an informal way and help them learn to enjoy singing.
- Whatever you do, help dads and moms. Families need help and your support and prayers can make a difference.
Thank you for laboring to reach and teach young people for Christ. Soon the battle will end. Jesus is coming. He wins and we win with Him! Until then, may God help us to be faithful.