Somehow, “Once a Youth Pastor…” has been discovered. I figured this day would come.
I was a bit reluctant to even start this blog for fear of…well…lots of things.
I feared a place where passions would run so high that point-proving and proof-texting of scripture would take precedence over real discussion of important issues. I feared that heightened emotions would keep people from hearing each other. I feared that “the way we’ve always done it” would rule the discussion. I feared that legitimate questions about youth ministry wouldn’t be heard. I feared that practices with no scriptural roots – though not evil – would continue to characterize youth ministry without even a slight examination of their effectiveness.
On the flip side, I feared attracting a group of youth ministry/church/Christian bashers who had nothing to offer to the discussion other than a list of complaints and negativity.
I knew there’d be disagreement, but I hoped (and prayed) for a tone that would be beneficial to God’s Kingdom, not mine (my kingdom tends to be wrong most of the time).
So far so good.
We’ve had disagreement. Keep it coming. But you also seem to be unwilling to simply point out youth ministry weaknesses (that’s my job!), without striving toward solutions.
Which brings me to one last point. I have come across some practices in the last two years of being an “official” youth pastor that address some of the questions I’ve raised. In other words, there are solutions. But I’m reluctant to just throw them out there. We’re addicted to quick fixes.
For example, we tend to quickly jump to “How do we start a mentoring program in our church?” when we probably should be asking, “Why don’t our teens and adults connect?” The mentoring program may or may not be part of the answer.
Quick fixes morph into programs that don’t address the root problems. It's better to wrestle with these problems (pray, search scripture, discuss, take them back to your youth team, etc.) and come to a true Spirit-directed solution that fits the context and culture of your own youth ministry, church, and community.
It's not for the faint of heart. Many of the answers will stretch you to places you never thought you'd go before. (but it's worth it!)
You heard me right. No easy answers on this blogsite.