In October of 1517, Martin Luther penned his 95 Theses – a document that would shake the western world to its core and change the course of the church for years after. As I thought about what I would share in this Thoughts for Thursday, I kept going back to Martin Luther. Now, I am not going to write something that will change the course of the church but rather I would like to copy his style for 95 Theses and give you Travis’ 10 Theses on Youth Ministry. You see a thesis, back then, was a simple thought meant to provide insight and to provoke a deeper discussion. I hope that through these you can hear my heart for Youth Ministry, Southland, and how Students are transformed by the Gospel. So without further ado here are Travis’ 10 Theses on Youth Ministry.
- Youth Ministry should not shy away from encouraging students to encounter the deep and rich theological truths of our faith. They can/will/should wrestle with these truths as God shapes their faith and as they grow in their relationship with Him.
- Youth Ministry should involve the Parents of the students as best as possible. They are still the greatest influence on their teenager’s life when it comes to faith and their view on God.
- Students, like most individuals, want to be known. The more we can connect students with their peers and caring adult leaders the greater the impact the Gospel will have on that student’s life.
- Youth Ministry and Church should be fun.
- Christian students
arethe church today not just in the future. This means that God has a unique role for them in the Body of Christ that they can start doing today. This also helps them see how they can continue to serve God in the church throughout their life.
- Christian students are also best equipped to reach their peers for the Gospel. These students should be trained to see their schools/extra-curricular activities/etc. as mission fields.
- Youth ministry must be done with a sense of quality and integrity. We are presenting the best news around, FREEDOM IN CHRIST, and it should show
inhow we present it to students. Like Paul, we must also avoid underhanded ways to sell the Gospel but rather teach, lead, and nurture with integrity (2 Corinthians 4:2).
- The Bible is still relevant when teaching teenagers. We must train them in how to read and study it for themselves and hopefully start decreasing the Biblical illiteracy that has plagued the current generations.
- Youth Ministry takes a team to accomplish. It cannot be built on one person but must have a solid team of Adults who can reach out to students from various backgrounds. The more Christian Adult you can put in the path of a student the greater the chance their faith will remain strong after High School.
- Youth Ministry is not an island and must partner with other ministries, like children and preschool, throughout the church to best accomplish the goal of students being transformed, nurtured, and sent.
I want to again express my gratitude in how welcomed you have made my family feel during this transition. We are so excited to be here and I am so honored to be your Student Minister. I hope this serves as a good introduction and I look forward to what God will continue to do in the days ahead. May you all have a blessed week.