Two ‘Musts’ for Youth in Church

Any pastor wanting to care for the needs of the youth in his congregation, should (in my opinion) believe two things essential things: you must be faithful to Jesus, and fruitful in youth culture.  Here are some thoughts on these two essentials:

a) FRUITFUL IN YOUTH CULTURE:  In order to be fruitful in youth culture I think you must have fun.  Why?  Because youth by definition are young people who live very active, energetic lives.  Therefore to be fruitful in youth culture, a youth ministry must be geared to, prepared for, and seeking to create an environment that is just that – active, energetic, and yes ‘fun.’  In saying this I do not want to give the impression that I think a youth ministry exists to ‘entertain’ youth.  Entertaining must not be a goal, ever.  Creating environments where youth can be youth is the goal.

b) FAITHFUL TO JESUS:  In order to be faithful to Jesus in youth culture you must be dead serious about the gospel.  Can any ministry really exists and function well to the glory of God if it is not dead serious about the gospel?  No.  Youth need to see that they can be who they are, while being faithful to Jesus at the same time.  Which means that they need to be taught and embrace the truth that they can be faithful to Jesus while being active, energetic, and fun.  We should never teach or live in such a manner as to give the impression that ‘church’ is just for old people who are dry and crusty.  Rather, every ministry ought to strive to give the impression that ‘church’ is for all kinds of people who’ve been acted upon and made alive by God Himself regardless of our varying ages.

Bottom line?  When the gospel moves among a youth ministry Jesus will be glorified, exalted, treasured, and lifted up, not ‘fun.’  Though this is true, it does not mean that the gospel being glorified won’t in itself be ‘fun.’

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