Michael Bayne on his site recently discussed the missing element, and I whole heartedly agree with what he discussed in his post. To somewhat sum it up in my own words, Students need more from Youth Ministry than just games, sermons, and worship. They need to have a personal connection.
This is something I am huge on, and I feel I put a lot of emphasis on this in the way I lead youth ministry and in my discussions with our volunteer team.
I think it goes back to the youth group I grew up in. We had a phenomenal Youth Pastor, who was simply an amazing communicator. I look back at that youth group and I remember that he was a great speaker. I remember being challenged by what he had to say like every week. But I also remember forgetting any feelings I felt by the time I got home, so never taking any action based off of what was said in a sermon.
But I also remember him challenging me on areas personally when we would talk/hang out, and me acting on those almost instantly.
I can recall maybe 2 or 3 talks (and even then, probably not even “talks” but rather just illustrations) he gave at youth group. But I can recall dozens upon dozens of conversations he had with me at starbucks, in the car, in his office, etc.
THIS SHAPED MY PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY.
Fast forward a few years to where I am now in Youth Ministry, and I am not one to spend hours each day on my lesson for the week. I have no problem, on occasion, just grabbing something off of simply youth ministry, if it means that I can have more face time with students or leaders.
But the other day it hit me – Am I Rationalizing my weakness?
Now if I really thought hard about it, I could tell you that no Im a decent speaker. I’m no Doug Fields in Youth Ministry or Matt Chandler when it comes to teaching, but I don’t have kids falling asleep when I teach.
But if I really am honest, teaching lessons to students is probably one of my biggest weaknesses as a Youth Pastor. I can preach at “Big Church” and be fine, and I have no problem talking in front of large crowds. But I still just haven’t gotten as comfortable as I would like to be with teaching the actual lesson to students.
So I have been thinking a lot lately, am I rationalizing away a weakness by believing that lessons aren’t the most important thing in youth ministry?
Yes and No. No, because I do honestly believe that. But yes, because I need to continue to work at becoming a better communicator.
If you thought long and hard, what are some weaknesses you rationalize? If you write a blog post on it, I’d love if you’d link her so I could read it as well, thanks.