Archives For Youth Ministry

If you have been reading this site you are probably aware there are some crazy things going on in RI. If you have not been reading this then you need to.

There are two Youth leaders in my cChurch. A woman named Suzanne and I. We have been noticing things as of late that have made us take pause.

I can sum it up with this. “lukewarm Christianity”

There is this sense that we don’t have to be Dangerous Christian’s. We don’t have to have a sense of urgency for the sake of the kingdom.

I could expound on this more, but it would turn into a long sermon and one I have preached 3 times in the last two weeks.

Any way we have been dealing with this in the youth ministry and I have challenged it verbally. However lately it has felt like we are riding a bike thru cement. Meaning we are getting nowhere.

Mark Batterson said “we are educated beyond our obedience”.

Isn’t that so true we are drilled each week with sermon after sermon and we have our heads filled with stuff we won’t even attempt to obey.

So what do we need to counteract lukewarm Christianity? What do we need to break the spirit of apathy?

Do we need another sermon? Do we need more instruction or discussion? Do people need to be smacked in the head?

Lets look at the word for a second. In Acts it was during Pentecost when the presence of God fell on the church like no other time and 3000 people were added to the church in one day. They however had to accept the word and internalize it. They had to ingest it. Something interesting about pentecost that doesn’t get preached much took sacrifice. Sacrifice is kinda scary so we tread lightly with it. Look at this though…the church before pentecost prayed for 50 days and then… Are you with me? And then after 50 days the spirit of God fell.

Check this out:

2nd Chron. 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

There are a few key things in this passage.

  1. “if my PEOPLE..” does it say “if 3 people…”? no it says “MY PEOPLE” who are called by name. That means all of us.
  2. “will humble….and turn….” That sure like like we have to be moving towards changing who we are. It means we need to lose our life so we can find life.
  3. “THEN will I….heal their land” The word then is huge. This is a simple process God gave us and we seem to thing we can bypass the first part.

A pastor of a local church that our church prays with got up at the national day of pray meeting we had and said this: (paraphrased)

“we got it all wrong…We have over 200+ people coming on Sunday mornings for church and less than 10% of that come to prayer…”

I know that is true almost everywhere. This is because we will do what God wants unless it affects what we want. We need a vision for the lost. We need to be urgent for the kingdom. and most of all if we want to see God heal our land we need to be in prayer.

So here comes the announcement part:

After praying and meeting with our church leadership over the youth ministry we decided to cancel all youth meetings and youth services for the next 3 months.

We have instead decided to dedicate these 3 months much like the apostles did before Pentecost. In prayer and fasting for a generation that needs healing.

We were very nervous about this decision and we were worried at first this was maybe out of personal frustration or discouragement.

Then we had a youth prayer meeting with the 6 churches here we pray with and the Spirit of God moved in that meeting and showed all the churches there that not only was this of God, but we all needed to be in.

So now the 4 churches that were present that night have dedicated June-August to pray for healing in the hearts of the young people here and that the presence of God would fall just like it did in Acts.

The numbers don’t lie. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people age 13-25 on the island we are on. If we took the total amount of kids in our groups though we have about 60 kids going to church of the thousands who don’t.

The only way this horrible number can be shifted is by praying for the hand of God to move.

There are a few more things to this that I will discuss later. Some of it is a realization that lukewarm Christians aren’t just those under 25, but we are dedicating to pray for those under 25 for 3 months in our own churches and together with 4-6 other churches as well.

God is going to do something HUGE. We all know it and I can’t wait to see it.

I want to challenge you if you are in ministry to take stock in what you are doing in your church. Does anybody come to prayer? Do you even have prayer? Are people being drilled with knowledge and not ingesting and applying it?

Go back and read acts and let God speak to you about where ministry begins and ends. The most important meeting a hurch has is it’s prayer meeting.

A few weeks ago we took our youth to the “awakening conference” in RI. It was fantastic. Great preaching, great worship and great fellowship. We had a good amount of kids with us and we were very excited about what was to come of this trip.
I have been to many conferences and most are like energy drinks. A quick high. However this one last year was different so we went in with high expectations.

There was some themes that stuck out to me:

  1. You need to have the presence of God in your ministry
  2. You need to be dedicated to prayer
  3. Don’t get discouraged
  4. Let God do His thing

Every bit of that is dead on. I have heard many times in ministry that if the presence of the Lord is there then people will respond. The problem is that we always have this assumption that this means a good response. However there are a few huge things that we have to realize.

  1. Where the presence of the Lord is there will also be conviction of the Holy spirit
  2. The deeper you get into the word and the more challenging the more people have to make choices as to what to do with that info

We stepped up our Youth ministry as of late to challenge the kids beyond just reading the bible. Beyond going through the motions.

If you bite an apple you can choose to spit it out before it nourishes you.

In the same sense if you read the word or hear it you can spit it out before it nourishes your spirit.

I know our kids have been convicted. We have lost many kids since trying to be more real and this has been discouraging. Thing is having 60 kids who come to meetings just to check out the opposite sex and never ever attempt to apply the word is worthless. Having 2 kids who are really trying to see what God can do in their life and affecting others is priceless. This is currently what we are dealing with. We literally went from 60 kids to 5 in 6 months.

Now numbers can be discouraging, but that honestly is not my concern. I don’t care about even having 0 kids coming. What I care about is these kids are hurting. I know they have felt love in the church, but it is so hard to let go of hate, bitterness, sex, drama, baggage, etc and just give it to God. I pray for them daily.

What I have noticed though is this:

We as leaders can go through the motions, but at a certain point we are just casting pearls before swine. That’s when programs and events and misc stuff need to end and prayer needs to be taken to a new level. Because it is only through prayer that God can heal our land.

I have noticed something interesting about free will…
When God convicts we have two choices:

Repent or Run

Right now my youth are turning to run so we are turning to more prayer. This may mean we are putting a halt to our youth meetings to regroup and let God move because the time we put into preparing the word for people who don’t want to hear it can be better served in coming before the throne on behalf of the least, the lost and the lonely in my church.

Here is a video from Life in Student ministry blog. If you have not been there he was some great youth ministry resources and thoughts.

I was watching MTv the other day. Yes I do watch it from time to time and I will get to which shows I watch in another post. Any way while I am watching it a commercial comes on with PINK.

This is not an exact quote because I can’t find a youtube video of it, but she say. When I was in High School being a slut made you a loser. Now if you are not a slut then you are the loser.

PINK was dead on with that one. I have found it very odd in doing youth ministry how much things have changed since the good old 1990’s. Back then things were pretty simple. There was pressure to have sex…sure, but if you were one of the ones who was always looking for it people called you a slut and you became an outcast. In the schools now you have to go much further in your “experimentation” to be labeled a slut.

I think this was evident at the MTv VMA’s with the jonas brothers and others getting grief for thier promise rings. It just is not cool any more to wait for marriage.

So what is the deal? Why is this becoming such an epidemic even among professed Christians?

There is an increased amount of Christians who while dating or engaged, since they know “this” is the one, they think it’s ok to have sex. They have the Bible and know what God says about it, but they think what they are doing is just fine.

There are thousands of reasons why non-biblically, disease, STD, pregnancy, emotional damage, ruining your wedding night, etc etc. The bible says that when two people have sex they become one, emotionally and physically. Anybody who has had sex knows it is much deeper than just physical. God knew this when he created it and that’s why He designed it for within a marriage.

There isn’t much I can say for those who are not Christians on the matter because honestly sex is great so I understand the temptation.

I just want to talk about Christians here.

If you are a teenager who is a Christian and you are having sex and you are not married. You are not honoring yourself, your future husband/wife, your current partner, or God.

The bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

I think this verse is huge and often the last part is left out. Most youth people use it to say…Hey you are young, but you can still do stuff great for God. Yes that is true, but there is more. It is saying..You are young, but as a Christian you have responsibilities to God and yourself.
Use your tongue for good, Love others, have faith in your God, and be committed to purity of mind and body. Do all of that so you can be an example to others who don’t believe in God.

I’m hoping we can break the culture of if it feels good do it. The truth is though that changing that mindset takes prayer and action. Prayer from the leaders, the church, and parents. Action from the youth to be an example and to hold each other accountable.

I’m praying for my youth…are you?

Animoto: awesome

July 10, 2008 — 4 Comments

Want the easist way to do cool photo slide-shows even with custom music. ANIMOTO.

below is an example of my first time trying it out with some photobooth pics I took of some of my youth. Very cool.