This is a post I wrote on www.calledtoyouthministry.com As the pastor of my church I often get ads for different groups, camps, fundraisers, and all sorts of things that are “perfect” for my ministry. Those of you in full-time ministry know exactly what I mean. Normally I look over them and I can tell within a few seconds if they are any good or just garbage. However, today I got an ad that has stuck with me. It was an ad for a weekend camp and the ad said “We let you do more stuff with your youth.”
More stuff? Is this what youth ministry needs? Between an after school program, midweek small groups, monthly events, and regular youth group on Sunday nights we need more stuff?
Is more going to help a youth? Maybe, but probably not. Is more going to help a youth with their problems? Probably not. Is more going to bring in more youth? Maybe, but it won’t keep them.
So perhaps stuff isn’t the answer to youth ministry. So then what is? The answer is more relationships.
No youth cares that you took them to a concert last week. They will say it was fun but if you press them the best part was that moment you and they had to talk about what really matters and that you cared enough about them to ask.
What our youth ministry needs is relationship with youth. Each youth has approximately 3 people that pay attention to them; parents, teacher, and a sports coach. However, all of these are forced to pay attention to the youth. Every youth needs a person who cares about them without being paid/forced to.
So then, We don’t need more stuff we need to know the names of our youth and what is really important to them.
Needless to say, I threw the ad away.
So then, may you put the stuff away and just spend time with your youth.