July 23, 2012 Young Voices

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am by heatherscherer Comments Off on July 23, 2012 Young Voices

I sit here surrounded by the youth in Okmulgee serving as Youth Force 2012. I came into this week straight off of a week of church camp. It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had the joy of camping or serving with a group of teenagers who love Jesus how invigorating it is. The energy of young people is amazing and to have it directed at growing in their faith is a wonder to experience. I think we have to ask how we manage to have such amazing youth ministry that doesn’t grow into young adults of faith. We have been using a model of youth ministry that claims success when we get big enough to move our youth into their own building with their own worship service. But what message does that send to our youth? We seperate them from the rest of the church and teach them that the “main building” doesn’t have anything of relevance for them. We graduate them out of the youth program and wonder why they don’t go back to the place that we have implicitly taught them has no meaning for their lives. We then wonder why they go to churches that have worship that reminds them of their youth program. This is a pattern we have to change if we want to engage young adults in our churches. If we want our youth to grow into lifetime disciples, we have to be willing to allow the entire church to respond to their needs and build relationships that span the generations. At my most previous church, one of the most meaningful things we did was connect our 7th graders to adults through a mentoring program. Both the adults and the youth are transformed by the conversations about their faith. Relationships are nurtured that never would have happened if we had taken the youth out of the main church. As we grow a new church, we have to find ways to be in conversation with the young voices in our community. We have to be willing to take young people seriously and actually listen to what they have to say. The church needs the young voices of every generation to walk boldly forward in faith, to be relevant as a voice in the wilderness. I challenge you, to start something new, something that speaks to people of every age, and takes the time to listen to the things of the heart, mind and soul that possibly could transform the world.Facebooktwitterby feather

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