Youth workers who have been around for any amount of time realize that most church-attending teens ditch Jesus shortly after high school. It took 3-4 years for those close to the youth ministry in our church to notice we weren’t producing long term disciples.
“We need more spiritual intensity and fervor. The programs we have are good…but they could be more engaging if we really worked at it. I need to spend more time on those youth talks so they’ll hit the mark with more power. It wouldn’t hurt if we emphasized scripture memorization more. And we need to pray more – and harder. And while we’re at it, let’s increase our expectations for those working with teens. We need to develop stronger student leaders. We’re following up, but it’s not good enough. Let's make follow-up assignments for every youth worker every week. We’re hanging out with teens – building relationships – but they’re not developing quite deeply enough. Let’s work on that. And let’s send our youth workers to more trainings. It’s about time for a youth group survey. Oh, and let’s ratchet up our college ministry. They'll stick around if there's somwhere to go...We need increase the quality of…of…of everything we do.”
"WE NEED TO TRY HARDER!"
It simply added to the sense of failure when the next class graduated high school.
Have you been there? Running with more intensity doesn’t get you anywhere if you’re on a hamster wheel. We’ve got to get off the wheel and change our assumptions about youth ministry. Maybe a lot of what we do in youth ministry isn’t essential after all. Maybe what we view as essential is just “fluff”.
And if you fluff harder…?!?!