Last night was the first night of the transition we are making in our youth ministry. We are moving from a rally/spectator model to involvement. We have no specific model we are following. This is an experiment. I am going to post about this new endeavor off and on as we work through this.
I had a great time last night sharing with our students the “why” behind the changes and casting some vision with them to get them ready for what is about to happen.
Too many churches and people push student ministry off to the side as more of a babysitting service to keep them out of the way while the adults do the “real” ministry. There is too much talk about the “church of tomorrow” in referencing youth in church. The church is losing too many upon graduation. Upwards of 90% of our high school graduates will walk away from church in the four year of college and not come back.
Young people are full of potential. Most would agree with that. The problem is, too many see that as future potential vs present potential. A healthy and vibrant church is one that merges the generations to serve together. The church that is going to touch their community in unprecedented ways is the one that has children, youth, and adults working side by side growing and learning from one another and allowing the strengths of each individual and generation to add value to the whole.
We are not going to keep youth on the sidelines watching. We are not going to have a nice little youth group that keeps students separated. We are going to engage youth and give them significant opportunities to use what God has given them and to see Him move in and through them. We are going to challenge them, resource them, train them, and send them. We are going to incorporate all the generations in the DNA and life and activities and outreach of Capital City Church. The adults need the youth and children. The youth need the adults and children. The children need the adults and youth.
Will this always be smooth and seamless? I hope not. If it is, then we have not accomplished anything worthwhile because we took the easy road and didn’t really change anything. God is speaking to His people and His church. It is time we stepped up and finished the task He gave us. That is only going to happen together. We must come together in unity across generational, social, denominational, racial, economic, and any other lines we have allowed to divide.
In the next post, I’ll give a little more background and start to reveal some of the practical things this will entail.