I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:1-2
Youth Pastors be warned, preach the word. There is a dangerous trend in youth ministry that seems to over focus fun and entertainment rather than instructing students in the Gospel. It is to easy to miss the whole point of youth ministry which is to produce vibrant and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. Why then do we devote ourselves to coming up with crazy games like drinking soda from a sock, rather than the studying and teaching of God’s word? As a Youth Minister, a teacher of God’s word, who is to be held to stricter judgement, be sure that you are exalting God through the preaching of His Word.
I don’t think it is any secret that the success of youth ministry in churches in produce long lasting disciples of Jesus is questionable at best. So many teenagers leave our churches once they graduate high school and move off to college never to return to the local church again. Why does this phenomenon happen? Why do young people seem to love youth group, but have a disdain for the church? The reason is rather simple, in youth groups we tend to give teenagers what that have been trained by our culture to expect, entertainment. As a result, an expositional sermon on the Word of God for 40 minutes seems boring. Getting our hands dirty and being engaged on mission, doesn’t seem like to much fun.
Youth Pastor, remember your primary purpose is to produce vibrant disciples of Jesus. Therefore do not build a youth ministry around entertainment or even your own personality, but build your ministry on Christ. In your preaching and teaching, be sure that the word is preached boldly and exalts Christ. Train your students to know and appreciate the Word of God and to see Christ throughout the Bible. Make sure you communicate by what you say and by what you do that Jesus is supreme in all things.
By God’s grace, through the faithful proclamation of His Word, may we see a generation rise up who will not accumulate teachers to suit their own passions, but who will cherish and value Christ. May we see a generation who will not fall away form the Faith after graduation day, but who will life out their lives for the sake of the Gospel as they take the message about Christ to the ends of the earth.