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How Youth Ministry Could Fail The Church, by Jeff Grenell

Here are  five ways that Youth Ministry could fail the Church.

Unhealthy Youth Leaders

There is a difference between ‘busyness’ and ‘business’. When Youth Leaders are busy, they burn out. Because they spend more time in programming and gaming than they do in relationships and study. When Youth Leaders are about the business of the Church, they burn on. Because they spend more time in relationships and study than they do in programming and gaming.

An unhealthy Youth Leader will produce unhealthy students, and ultimately, an unhealthy generation who will lead the Church into an unhealthy future.

Before a Youth Leader teaches or preaches to their leaders and students, they must internalize the Word they have been preparing. Our personal spiritual health is elementary to us leading others in their corporate spiritual growth. One of the missing pieces in leadership development is self-leadership. Create your own personal disciplines before you challenge others to create theirs. Our own ceilings and lids can become detected by those around us when we have expectations for others that we do not live ourselves. Daily reading, weekly fasting, monthly witnessing, annual mentors, and a lifetime of sexual purity must be the kind of commitments we make to our own personal leadership.

An unhealthy Youth Leader will produce unhealthy students, and ultimately, an unhealthy generation who will lead the Church into an unhealthy future.

 

Mono-Strategy For Reaching A Diverse Student

It takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people. And it takes all kinds of models to reach all kinds of men.

There are many models to Youth Ministry. The Youth Service, Discipleship, Outreach, Small Group, Fine Arts, Events, and even Campus based models are all popular. To simply emphasize one of these approaches is limiting. The diversity in the youth culture demands that we become proficient in multiple models. Look at the tribes present in our society.

Image: Stuart Vivier

Most Youth Ministries are able to function in 1 or 2 of these. Maybe a good youth service and a few outreach events. Or, capable small groups and weekly visits to the campus. Each Youth Leader will have a core competency in one or even two of these strategies, but, the Youth Leader who can become proficient in 2 or 3 or 4 of these models can have an opportunity to reach more students. And that requires that Youth Leaders have varied skilled and multiple gifted leaders around them.

It takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people. And it takes all kinds of models to reach all kinds of men.

 

An Unwillingness To Be Teachable

The young leader can often think that the vets are stuck in the scriptures and don’t understand culture.

The mentoring relationship between the young Youth Leader and the veteran Youth Leader is vital to a healthy Church. In my travels and conversations with so many leaders across the country I have seen an unfortunate relationship between the two emerge. The young leader can often think that the vets are stuck in the scriptures and don’t understand culture. That they are dinosaurs who preach a gospel that society isn’t interested in and they are living on past successes from 2 or 3 decades ago. On the other hand, the veteran leader can think that the rookie is into cultural trends and doesn’t understand scripture. That they are hipsters who preach gaming and videos with more gaga ball and charades than biblical content.

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2016

About the Author: Jeff Grenell, MA (Evangel University), has over 30 years of experience in church, parachurch, and public education focused on ministry to youth. Jeff has served as a local church Youth Leader (13 years), Motivational Speaker at national camps, conventions, seminars, and public and private schools (5 years), the Lead Pastor of a youth church (5 years), University Professor (9 years), and has Coached NCAA basketball, High School, and AAU basketball and soccer (14 years). Ythology Instagram Twitter

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