Steven: You are not reading this blog by accident. Whether you’re a current youth worker, a parent of a student in someone’s youth ministry, a student, or a potential youth worker, God knew you would be reading these words. Chances are you’re someone interested in the youth ministry field in some way or another, but maybe you haven’t made the leap yet. Or maybe you are a youth worker who knows someone that should join in youth ministry and you don’t know how to get them involved.
If you love God and like students, you can be a leader.
It’s as simple as that.
We are all called to spread the Gospel. If you’re a Christian, you’re a teacher. Who better to teach than the next generation? They’re the future, the people that will be running the earth after we’re gone!
You don’t have to be perfect to lead students. In fact, it’s better that you’re not perfect! Everyone has had experiences in their life that have shaped who they are today. Those experiences give us the tools we need to minister to students. For example, if you’re someone who has struggled with alcohol, you can minister to someone struggling with alcohol. If you have an eating disorder in your past, you can recognize and minister to people with eating disorders. Your experiences shape your path as a youth worker.
Don’t let your insecurity of something you don’t know much about stop you from getting into youth ministry. The youth ministry field needs your voice, and more importantly, students need someone to turn to who can point them to Jesus.
Matt: Once you stepped over the line and became a Christian, you also became a teacher. Everything you do shows (teaches) those around you. If you’re reading this blog, then you more than likely decided to use the gifts and talents that God gave you for student ministry. Once you stop learning, then you also stop leading. You have to make sure you are always reading and learning more about God and growing your relationship with Him. At the same time you are also teaching those students in your small group, in your weekend services, or whatever your contact with students may be.
My mom used to say, “little pictures have big ears.” It was her way of saying to be careful what you say around the kids, because they pick up everything. Once I began serving in student ministry I really knew how important that saying was. The students in my small groups are always looking up to me, and looking to see what I do and how do it. My life has not been perfect, in fact it’s been a bumpy road for more years than I want to remember. But I also know that God has used those hurts and pains and problems so that I can be a more effective leader in student ministry.
One of the questions I have asked my students is, “If you died today, what do you want people to say about you at your funeral?” My answer to that question is I want people to simply say, “Matt made a difference.” I want to use my talents and gifts in student ministry to make a difference in a student’s life. I want to help bring them closer to God, help them through their problems, and help them to make a difference in someone’s life. I want them to know that someone cares, because in turn I want them to go on and make a difference in someone life. One generation passing on to the next about the love of God, how much better their life can be when they have a strong relationship with God. When my time is up here, I want my friends here on earth to say, “Matt made a difference,” but when I get to Heaven I want to hear God say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Youth workers: How do you get other people involved in youth ministry?