Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is youth minstry about relatiships or meeting an 'end'?

I recently had to hand in an assignment reviewing a book that I chose called the “The Youth Builder” .

It was fascinating for me to actually review my own motivations for ‘doing’ youth work.

What am i trying to achieve?

Here is portion out of that assignment:

What influenced me during youth group days?:

Firstly I cannot remember one message my youth leader preached and have very few memories of what the programme was like.

What I do recall though was the few times that he dropped me off or visited me at home. It was in those few moments and the encouraging things he said out of my whole youth group experience that I believe influenced me the most. He was pursuing relationship.

Secondly relationship also seemed to be God’s intent. Our Christian faith is sealed in a personal relationship with Jesus and I believe God pursued incarnational ministry by stepping into ‘our world’ to identify with us through his son Jesus.

I think this has profound implications on how we should view ‘youth ministry’.
Jesus walked like we walked, experienced what we experienced all to reconcile relationship.

Burns and De Vries sum it up by saying, “If we are ever to have a positive influence on our young people, we must build relationships with them and live out our faith in their midst.”

In contrast I have seen many youth ministries put almost all their efforts into the programmes and services they run. I have also in times operated in this way by default.
I find it interesting that for many youth leaders although they would say it’s about building relationships with young people, I wonder if it’s often a means to an end.

By this I mean for example as leaders (in a previous situation) we would be asked to phone our teenage small group each week. This could be seen as ‘building relationships’, yet underneath I think the overriding purpose was to make sure they would be coming to our next event/programme.
Do we phone because we were truly concerned for them that they were not at youth group last week and genuinely wanted to find out how they were?

Or is there an underlying motive and pressure to make sure they come back next week to our programme… to our ‘end’?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tombstone records or Your Life Story in 6 words

A couple of years ago we had a theme night at youth' which I called Tombstone Records.

Basically we asked the teen's the classic, "what would you like people to write on your tomb stones at the end of your life".

AS powerful as that is what happens when we descibe ourselves? our Situations, our life stories?

Ernest Hemmingway was once asked to write a story in just six words. He wrote a sad one ...

"For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn."

The world's shortest story inspired writer Larry Smith who wondered what memoirs people might be able to concoct in just six words. So he began a website which, to date, has received 30,000 contributions, the best of which have been published in a book.

The results are sad, funny, inspiring ...

"Revenge is living well without you."

"Was father. Boys died. Still sad."

"Story of my life: Unintended consequences."

"Clever with numbers. Not with men."

"Met young. Got married. Still infatiuated."

"Raised by lunatics. Still in recovery."

"Stole wife. Lost friends. Now happy."

"Work in progress. Come back later."

"Father died. Mother ineffectual. Succeeded anyway."

"Escaped from past to live present."

"Not quite what I was planning."

"I was born. Some assembly required."

"People lie. Keep trying to believe."

"Started off normal. Things went awry."

"Macular denegration. Didn't see that coming."

I saw this on James Mac Phersons site and it got me thinking....

What would my story be?

What would yours be?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I believe in what?

So i was having lunch with a couple yesterday.
These people are great (and dangerous) thinkers.

Maybe in a later post' i will elaborate on one or some of his twelve points he believes the church must adopt to move forward in an authentic way.
(I must admit i was nervous about one of them as it recommended there should be no 'paid' leadership in the church..... Selfishly i thought only about myself and my future.... ahhrr! )
Anyways. So in their mission work (somewhere over the sea's) they mentioned one of the most fundamental tools they use for teaching believers and disciple makers is the Apostles' Creed.

I have herd of it and understand it as some statements of belief. I began to think though:
Would my youth group know it?

I don't mean weather they could memorize then recite it for a jelly bean or star by their name.
i mean could they say it and mean it?

Here it is:

The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian[9] Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.[1
Have i communicated these foundations truths to the people i am pastoring as important...... essential!??


These are truth statements.
Yet it is often feelings not facts that determines the commitment/worship level for our young people on any particular day... Its how i 'feel' that often determines mine also.

So maybe its time to bring back some 'Old School' recital back?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Begin'

Well, this is my first 'blog'. hmm i didn't even know what to call my 'blogging' site... ??? I feel like this guy on the right starring at this new world of technology, amused but clueless.
I am doing this as part of my goals.
To begin thinking through life and issues a bit more and as a possible vehicle to communicate to the various volunteer leaders that i serve with. So this could suck for a bit. But hey i have started! The next post i hope will have something worth reading.