What they all remember, however, is me and that I cared about them. In ten years how will your kids look back and remember you? Will your memory bring back warm feeling of acceptance and love or alienation and bitterness? Will they remember youth group as a place of loving support or just another thing they had to do to please someone? Will you be remembered as a person who had an authentic relationship with God or will they realize the person they remembered was just modeling surface Christianity?
How is your heart? Steve Camp has this great song called "Don't tell them Jesus loves them, till you're ready to love them too." Good song. Worth a listen. You can download it through this link.
|Don't Tell Them Jesus Loves Them [Music Download]|
By Steve Camp / Emi Cmg Distribution Download
Professional youth ministers, those schooled in the art, may be motivated by nothing more than using youth ministry as a stepping stone to a senior pastor position. They design a program that displays their skill but has minimal personal relationships with the kids.
Some youth pastors who experienced an adolescence filled with aches and pains are determined to save other kids from the same fate. They would have enjoyed having someone care about them during that stage of their lives. However, their ministry might dangerously be more about meeting their own heart's desire for love than actually helping the kids. It's a short step to an improper relationship with a teen.
So what is the proper motivation for a youth leader and how do we know if we have it?
The mature Christian youth leader is deeply satisfied in their relationship with God and has no unconscious demands that the child returns their affections. An effective youth leader looks at a child and sees the enormous potential that child has to affect their relationships with sincere God-centered love. This youth pastor wants nothing more than to help that young person learn to love God and others. This motivation grows out of their own deep personal love for God.
If you are this kind of youth leader I applaud you. You will strive hard to teach your kids about God and the reasons he is worthy of their love. You will model for them a heart that is profoundly touched by the Holy Spirit. Your lessons, though they may not be remembered, will change the core of who they are. They will listen attentively because the want what you naturally display: joy, peace, patience, and love.
Effective youth ministry certainly requires accurate doctrine and sound Biblical knowledge. But it also requires a depth of maturity attained only by those who are honest with themselves. Dr. Larry Crabb, in his book Inside Out, says this requires a deep honest look inside ourselves to reveal what's really going on in our hearts.
By Dr. Larry Crabb / NAV Press
"Why do things go so wrong when I'm trying so hard to be right?" If you've ever asked yourself this question, Crabb has a few answers. "Far too many Christians do not deal honestly with their lives. The pathway to change is more often discussed and debated than displayed." In his warm, engaging style, Crabb helps you venture inside yourself where Christ is waiting to heal, restore, and fulfill. Real wholeness and real change are possible---if you're willing to start from the inside out.