Monday, May 5, 2014

Youth Ministry Makes You Selfish

(I don't usually post long blog posts cause I know I don't read them myself when they are long.  So those who like bullet points and have ADD I apologize in advance)

OK.  I’ll admit it.  I’m selfish.  After 20-something years of working with students it has made me a selfish person, terribly selfish.  I think most adults that work with youth become selfish people.  I know selfishness isn’t pretty when I wear it, it doesn’t look good on me or most adults.  We probably seem like 3 year olds when we act selfishly.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want your son or daughter at youth group each week.  I’m selfish because I want them there to hear from God’s Word and to worship with other believers.  Selfish of me, I know.  I know there will be Sundays where the weather is perfect for beach-going and what not, it’s selfish of me to want your son or daughter at youth group learning what it means to be the church.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want your son or daughter to open the Bible and spend time reading it on their own and spend time in prayer on a daily basis.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want to see them grow into fully devoted followers of Christ.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want your son or daughter to serve in ministry at church.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want them to discover that God has created them uniquely with a plan for them to serve Him in the local church.  Selfish of me because I know that they will be more likely to carry this attitude of serving into their adult years.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I will teach on sex, dating, honoring parents, at least once a year, every year from the time a youth enters the youth group in 6th grade all the way until they graduate.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want to see them make wise relationship decisions that honor God and I want them to learn submission because they will have to submit to someone the rest of their lives.  I know, I’m selfish.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want to see your son or daughter at youth group so then can connect with their adult leader in their PODz (small group).  Selfish of me, I know.  
I’m selfish because I understand the stats that tell us when teens connect and having meaning relationships with 5 adults in their church they are more likely to now walk away from their faith when they graduate.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I know that not every activity we do as a youth group is appealing to each and every student but I want them there.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want them to learn what fellowship is all about.  Life with other believers isn’t always about having things “my way”.  Selfish of me, I know.  It’s selfish because I know if they catch on to this their future pastors when they are adults will be blessed to have them in their church family.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because each week I want to write an e-mail to parents.  Selfish of me to want to spend my time doing what I want to do, I know.  I’m selfish because I want parents to know what we studied at youth group and keep them informed well in advance of what is coming up so they can calendar dates and be more organized when it comes to discipling their own child.  Selfish of me, I know.

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want other adults on the team.  I don’t want to do youth ministry by my lonesome.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want to see other adult Christ followers discover how God has shaped them to serve and to use the gifts God has given them to impact the lives of students for eternity. 

I’m selfish.
I’m selfish because I want your son or daughter to go to camp.  Selfish of me, I know.  I’m selfish because I want them to unplug from their world, be removed from distractions, be in a place where they hear from God’s Word a few times a day and build relationships with other students who love Jesus with everything they have got.  I’m selfish because I want them to be influenced by college-aged counselors who love Christ and want to share the life changing message with kids.  Selfish of me to want to see your son or daughter’s life totally rocked by God because camp is where many students come make decisions for Christ.

I’m selfish.  I’ve spilled the beans.  I’m sure other youth ministers whether paid or volunteer (thanks volunteers, we love you!) will search their souls and also admit they too are selfish.  So parents as you work with me as I come along side of you as you disciple your teen please understand I am selfish as are the other adult’s in your church’s youth ministry.  Thanks.

3 comments:

Ramon Sanchez Jr said...

this all goes back to obedience as well. Supporting your pastors that God has placed in that church. 1 Thess. 5:12 says to "Honor those who are your leaders in the Lords work, they keep watch over you and give you spiritual guidance." What better way to honor your youth pastor by supporting his vision for youth ministry. after all he is giving your child spiritual guidance. Although their main source of spiritual guidance should come from their parents, through the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Which leads to another question, if do not stand behind their youth pastor, do they stand behind their pastor in "big church?"

Ramon Sanchez Jr said...

correction from my last comment, 1 Thess 5:12 says honor those who are your leaders in the Lords work, they work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Too many verses in my head.

Bonnie Beacham said...

I am not seeing any of these things as "selfish" ... I see them as purpose-driven with spiritual growth as the ultimate objective. Thank you!
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