Category Archives: course
Having just handed in the final assignment for the certificate in youth ministry course I was doing, I thought i’d write a few lines here in reflection. Was weird last night at the dinner seeing everyone again and realising how well the group bonded and how much we all miss our wee monday night group. The final assignment involved analysing the current youth ministry setup in my church, and producing a purpose statement and structure to move the ministry with the youth forward. At first this was quite a daunting task, but I trust that God has directed my thoughts, and know that He will direct us forward in reaching the youth of our community.
I have personally found the course of huge benefit in guiding me firstly in my personal walk of faith, and also in the area of youthwork, and how we can reach out to this generation and ignite a genuine faith and passion for Christ lived out in their lives. Having completed the assignment, I feel that this is a structure and vision that our church could adopt and implement as we seek to reach this generation of young people, and feel that it should do so as a matter of urgency.
In our ministry we must present the never changing truth of a counter-cultural gospel in a format and language that is relevant and real to the culture of today. In doing so, we must look to Christ, the apostles, the missionaries, and the great communicators of previous generations and follow their example and attitude. It is our biblical mandate to pass on our faith to the next generation Psalm 78 vs. 1-4 so lets get back to doing it.
Looking into learning and teaching styles last night at the youth ministry course, and how our own learning style will influence how we minister to our young people. We will adopt a teaching style that reflects our style of learning, and as a result may be excluding a range of young people who will respond better to another style of teaching. I discovered I am apparently an imaginative visual learner, adopting a more people-oriented approach. The need for variation in programs became apparent in order to address and embrace all young people n your setting, and indeed “The only bad method is the one you use every week”.
Heavenly Father, help us to embrace all your young people, and see what you see in them, vessels of potential. Teach us how to nurture this potential, and minister to them effectively, so that you can rise up young men and women who have a passion for you.
Exploring the topic of youth culture last night at the youth course I’m doing, and a few interesting points were brought up that brought things home to me abit. We analysed a number of teen magazines, and the main content and lifestyle they were promoting. The basic attitude is that if it feels good, do it; and its all about satisfying yourself, adopting a self-centered lifestyle, and living for the moment. And the worrying aspect of this is that young people seeking answers for matters they face in their teenage years such as sexuality, relationships and such like are being educated on these life issues by the glossy magazines. The magazines exploit the vulnerabilities of the teen market, and their curiosities in regards to their sexuality, to make a quick buck. The post-modern mindset pushes the please yourself attitude, and to hell with the consequences.
The significance of this is that the church has to be addressing these issues from a Christian perspective, presenting a sub-culture that goes against this current mindset, and basically being open, honest and real with the teens, helping them in the struggles they face.
At the youth ministry course tonight again, looking at the ministry strategy of Jesus. Some points that were brought up, and spoke to me I guess was this:
· Jesus inspired, not merely instructed. He lived a life that drew people to Him, a life that they wanted to have and follow.
· He was all about relationships, meeting people where they were, getting to know them, and challenging them.
· The Christian life is not merely rules and regulations, but rather building a relationship with God that has an utter dependence and obedience to Him.
· To be effective in what you do, you have to be reliant and dependant on God, following and indeed seeking His guidance in everything you do, so that it’s not merely your words and strength, but that given to you from, and inspired by Him.
· Its about inspiring them, not merely instructing, and to do this you have to have a passion for Christ that is infectious to all around.
Two important concepts I feel are highly important when involved in ministering to the youth of today:
· Common Ground – finding an area where the scriptural truth of God word is real and relevant to the youth culture of today in a format and language they can readily identify with. This I believe is in following with the pattern used by Christ himself and Paul in the teaching of their time.
· In it, not of it struggle – Touching youth culture with the reality and relevance of Gods Word without being submerged in it, thus undermining it and loosing its scriptural relevance.
At the youth ministry course tonight we looked at purpose driven youth ministry: knowing why you’re involved is as important as doing it. We must have a passion for what we’re doing that is evident to all around. As suggested by Aristotle, youth ministry is about a phronesis category of knowledge involving discernment and practical wisdom in whatever situation we find ourselves. Following an Action-Reflection model, shaping experience through discoveries, and taking time to reflect and learn.
By sending His son Christ to dwell among us, He found a way to talk and communicate with us in a manner that made sense: JOHN 1 V.14 “the Word became flesh”. Christ accommodated himself to the culture and language and culture, using metaphors they could relate to, and meeting with them in their situation, addressing them with compassion and genuine concern. He comforted the disturbed, and disturbed the comforted, tuning outcasts into icons. Youth ministry is Educational, Evangelistic, and Pastoral, with the most important resource being ourselves: be empowered by God. As youth pastors, we need to be accountable to ourselves, and the ministry we are called to work in.
Where do we stand at present in our relationship with God? Our relationships best show the inner state of our soul. If we are fully aware of Christ’s agape love for us offered unconditionally, then nothing he can ever ask of us or place in our way can break our relationship with Him. If we set about restoring our relationship with our Lord and Savior, then our character will be truly reflective of Christ, and this can only be achieved by spending time with Him, and allowing him to mould and change us from the inside out. Then the Word will truly become flesh as we bear a daily witness, and reflect Christ’s character to all who we meet on a daily basis.
Just started a youth ministry course, looking forward to it, and hopefully it will equip and resource me to carry out the youthwork in our church more effectively in Gods strength. I guess we hope to clearly and accurately present Gods word in a practical and relevant way to the youth of our church and the surrounding area. To challenge them in their lives and their faith, to have a passion and a zeal for the One who gave his all for them, and to equip and encourage them for the battle that exists daily for all those who seek to follow Christ.