Wednesday, February 15, 2006

True Joy

Where do you find your joy? Since returning from the youth retreat, I’ve been challenged by 1 Thessalonians 2:8 to answer that question. If you look around at different youth programs, it is easy to see highly structured ministries offering many opportunities for youth to receive teaching and fellowship and perform service activities. Youth programs need more than those opportunities. They need time and lives. Paul comments in verse 8, that they were delighted to share their lives with the Thessalonians.

Are you delighted to share your life with our youth?

Are you investing your life in a youth?

This, known as discipleship, is essential to have an effective ministry. We must be willing to spend our lives on the lives of our youth. Beyond that, we should be encouraging our youth in leadership to do the same.

So what can we do to share our lives with youth?

Use your comments to give suggestions on how we can invest in our youth.

1 comment:

RobenC said...

Greetings!

I think the first thing to do is pray for the youth. Maybe we could create a prayer roster? So that we could be sure no one is being left out? It would be awesome if different kids were assigned to different leaders on different days... every youth would be prayed for every day.

Next, develop relationships. I am blessed to be able to work with a lot of the homeschool youth outside of youth group. So I get to know them in different ways. As relationships develop, you can pray for them more specifically.

I think it would be a good idea to approach the youth individually and ask them to come to the leadership class. Offer to give them a ride, talk to them about what we'll be doing, tell them how much you'd love to see them there. Like - Josh is already planning on coming since I'm going to be there -- but I'm sure he would love to have another leader personally encourage him to attend. It might be good to coordinate this one - again, so no one is overlooked. It won't hurt for three of us to encourage the same person. But it is important that we include everyone.

As a side note - I had 17 kids in my 5th & 6th grade class a few weeks ago. I asked how many of them were 6th graders. Eleven hands shot up in the air. 7th and 8th is going to boom come June. I believe that youth group as a whole will grow over the summer. As new people move into the area, we are going to add people in. We need to be prepared for that.

The study with the girls has been extremely successful. They really feel comfortable with the leaders and the other girls. And they open up and share quite a bit. I really don't want to lose that in the transition to the new leadership class. But it will be a different scenario. I fear they won't be as open. And that some of them won't even bother to participate. Any thoughts on that?