I was part of a very small youth group when I was in high school. At one point I might have been the only one there, simply because we were a younger church and didn’t have many families with other kids at the time. While the youth group was small, the youth pastor was a giant in my life. Perfect? By no means. And I can even see now where he’s grown since having been my youth pastor. He and his wife were instrumental in helping shape who I am now.
Today I want to talk about cultivating a sense of purpose in your students. So what was the point of bragging on my youth pastor? Well one day he said something I found to be profound, and it still sticks with me today. I was a just out of my senior year, and had asked if some of us from youth group could hang out one weekend. He said that was fine; however, we weren’t allowed to do so unless we also did some kind of service also. Of course, that doesn’t sound profound, but to a 17 year-old, it refocused my purpose. Maybe you would never dream of saying something like that because it seems like a harsh regulation. I assure you, it is quite the contrary. It wasn’t a regulation, but a guide. It woke me up from a world that was all about me, and showed me a world that was bent on serving others in the process.
This is so important for us to communicate to our students! Especially nowadays. The world says it’s all about “me, me, me.” Students spend their days at school, where it’s about them learning. They play sports where it’s about their performance. They spend their time on their cell phones, online, and withe their friends, where it’s all about comfortableness and consumerism. How will they find out that life is about more than that? That God has called us to be slaves, serving Him and others? Quite frankly, if you don’t, it’s possible that no one will. Unless, of course, they come from a very Christ-centered, intentional family.
Everything has a purpose, even if it’s not specifically for service. Even hanging out can serve the purpose of building relationships and trust. I’m not saying you have to go out of your way to find service projects, though maybe we should be doing much more of that. What I am saying is that we need to make sure that in everything we are doing we have a purpose and are fulfilling that purpose. Go ahead and tell your students what the purpose is! And next time they ask if you can do a certain event or get-together, ask them what the purpose would be. We’re not in their lives to tell them facts, but to guide them to think more wisely and more Biblical minded.
Posted on March 21, 2012, in Leadership and tagged Atmosphere, Authentic, Bible, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Communication, cultivate, Faith, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Leadership, Parenting, Pastor, purpose, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.