How many of your youth group’s students are active in serving in ministry?
Three common ministry misunderstandings I see in churches:
- Ministry is to be done by the paid staff. They are the professional ministers.
- Ministry and Mission are defined as the same thing.
- Ministry is for the adults in the church. Children and youth don’t serve.
Ministry is to be done by every believer in every church. Serving each other isn’t just for the paid professionals.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:11,12
Ministry is reaching inside of the church. Taking care of the needs of those within the body of Christ. Missions is reaching outside of the church, taking the gospel to those who don’t know Christ. Churches need to be balanced in these two.
Ministry is for every believer in the body of Christ.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
According to the verse above every believer receives a gift to be used to serve the church. This would mean that when I trusted Jesus as my Savior at age 7 I was given a gift by the Holy Spirit to be used as a 7 year old boy.
What opportunities exist in your church for EVERY believer to serve?
We tell our students they need to serve but often fail to help them discover how God has shaped them to serve. If we want to see students serving we need to help students discover their spiritual gift. There has to be a strategy and plan whether formal or informal in carrying out this equipping.
Last Sunday night our students, in their small groups, filled out a spiritual gift assessment and then discussed their gift among their group. We then pulled everyone back together to find out who has what gift. As students raised their hands indicating their gift I could see in some of them that yes, in fact that is their gift. This assessment not only helped the students but helped us as leaders see students gifts so we could help point them in the right direction in ministry.
In our church we have students who serve on our First Impressions Team, Nursery Team, Kids’ Zone Team (some are the leaders of a children’s class), Hospitality Team and our Kiosk Team. These students serve each Sunday morning in our church. My eldest man-child is 10 and he will often serve during our second worship gathering in the preschool class. I’m not sure how much help he is but he is getting a taste of serving and what that’s all about (plus a taste of their awesome snacks).
In my next post I will give a couple of ideas about having an informal or formal way of equipping students to serve.
The spiritual gift assessment we used is Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts published by LeaderTreks.