I preached yesterday on some of these thoughts and today I still struggle with them. The challenge for me in preaching is that I want to hash out some of the questions I ask from the pulpit and maybe that is why I really love speaking to teenagers because they talk back!
Quick Synopsis- If you take a survey of the entire bible you will see that God has used young people as agents for his mission over and over again. The call of Jeremiah in chapter 1, the call of Samuel, David, Timothy, Moses, the boy who shared is lunch in John 6 and on and on. The fact that God calls young people consistently throughout scripture tells us about his heart. Age is no barrier to Him and neither are titles.
Here are a few of the points that I made yesterday that I wished we could have hashed out, but maybe we can do that here.
1. Our churches are structured to have “B-Teams”- While no good-hearted follower of Christ would admit to putting teenagers and children on the Junior Varsity, yet we are still guilty by the way we structure. I hear more and more people talking about the need for intergenerational opportunities especially in larger churches and I would say that our structure makes assimilation very, very, difficult. What do you think?
2. Mature believers make room for maturing believers Sadly, mature believers often make room for their own spiritual health, worship styles and opinions. ( I am not exempt from this statement) I know this sound cynical, but I really thought hard before I wrote it. For the most part, we aren’t malicious about turning our heads to new and maturing believers, we just have our own routine that captures our hearts and minds. I referenced a question yesterday that was asked of every Presbyterian Elder until 1825, What are you doing to recruit young people to the Gospel ministry? This question has some teeth and I wonder why we no longer ask it? So, what does and could it look like for a church to really make room for maturing believers?
3. Wild Hair Idea- What if we got rid of youth ministry? Yes I know, this means I would looking for new job. But really, what if we canned the youth ministry, would the body rise up to take care of the teenagers without having to pay someone? Is this a better model of ministry? Do I (youth ministers) actually inhibit the people of God from reaching out to serve young people?
I really want some input here!! Pick 1 and go!