Changes are in store this September. The history of youth ministry, at least in its current form, is a brief one. Often traced to the founding of Young Life in the 1940s, modern youth ministry has been characterized by rallies and evangelistic messages, attractional gimmicks and fun, it produced an incredible movement among young people that saw the growth of youth programs all over the country. Much wonderful fruit has come from youth ministry, but in the process, some foundational functions of the church have been lost. Chief among them, youth ministries have succeeded in segregating the youth of our churches from their congregations, and so severed an invaluable resource that these students deeply need to mature in their faith. That resource is you!
Research reveals to us that the two largest driving factors in the failure of youth ministry to retain students beyond their teenage years can be identified as 1) lack of depth in theological teaching, and 2) lack of relationships with adults in their churches. Put positively, if we can teach our youth about their faith in a deep and compelling way, giving them a solid foundation for life in this world, and if we can connect our students in meaningful relationships with at least 3 adults in the church who serve to love and mentor them, the chances of their staying faithful in their churches and in their faith moves from the variously cited 30% upward to closer to 80%. Now that’s an incredible difference!
So, foundational to a faithful youth ministry, armed with that information, is this question: how do we connect our students with you? The best way is simply this, when you see them, talk to them. Search them out. Love them. That may be easier said than done. So, as a youth ministry here at FBC we have two primary ways you can connect with our students.
First, on September 9th we are launching our 3rd annual Pray for Me Campaign. If you haven’t heard of the Pray for Me Campaign, talk with some other folks in the church. This ministry serves to make a connection between our youth and our adults simply through the act of committing to pray. Our students sign up to have prayer champions (nearly all sign up), and you sign up to pray for them! If you haven’t done so yet, take some time to call the church office and sign up!
Secondly, also on September 9th we are launching a brand new emphasis through our youth ministry called “Family Nights.” Every Sunday night at 6pm during the standard small group calendar year we are inviting whole families to join us upstairs in the cafe for face-to-face discussion and discipleship. We will use the curriculum that the rest of our small groups are using, and inviting teenagers, adults, and kids to join in the conversation. Here are the requirements to come: nadda. Will you join us? I hope you will!
Soli Deo Gloria!