authentic student ministry (part 1)

Posted: March 29, 2008 in Jesus Christ, RiverPoint

Following much prayer this week, God (and my Pastor Brad) confirmed I am now the student ministry (aka FUSION) Pastor at RiverPoint Church. Sadly, I will not be leading worship after tomorrow. This will allow me to be fully devoted to our students and their relationships with Jesus Christ. Time to saddle up!! Good reading below:

They are demanding something more.
It is the great hope of most youth pastors that their Christ-centered investment in the lives of the new millennium students might yield a return of graduates who are mighty kingdom warriors for a lifetime. It is my belief, however, that if we stay on our current track of student ministry, there will be a great decline in effectiveness as we crash head-on into the unique needs of this generation. They are demanding something more. They simply will not allow ministries to stay as most are.
This forced maturity will be greatly challenging to many student pastors, but will hopefully lead them to their greatest victory. God has a habit of doing that. How will this generation be our teacher?
• Their entertainment is highly imaginative, has ridiculous satire, and includes fast-paced games. However, when it comes to relationship and beliefs, they will recoil at anything less than that which is substantive and authentic.
– They are not interested in imaginary platitudes.

– They will demand the straight-up truth, and anything less will prove offensive and useless.

– Only what they deem as “real” will capture their attention and gain their commitment.

– They will simply not accept what seems like inauthentic promises which do not deliver true results. They are too smart for that.
• They will not settle for hearing about a relationship with Christ. If interested, they will demand, with an insatiable appetite, to experience the intimacy of that relationship. They do not want to only hear of the God of the past patriarchs or the God of the future heavenly. They will desperately desire the touch of that God in their lives today.

• They will not accept this truth handed to them from a distance. They will demand nothing short of individual interest and investment.

• Finally, this generation will not simply sit on the bench and applaud adults who seem to be in the ministry game. As they grow older and more mobile, those on the inside will simply vote with their feet and quietly slip away unless they can contribute. They crave eternal purpose and desperately will demand the opportunity to be an impact player for the King. Those on the outside will display little interest.
While the new millennium teenager probably cannot articulate these very real passions, they exist more clearly than ever. Youth ministries not willing to meet these very real spiritual passions will be of less and less spiritual significance and eventually might only serve as a window dressing – yielding a church or youth pastor with only a superficial significance.  

(although borrowed, I found this to be incredibly parallel to my feelings about youth ministry over the last 20 years) ……….more to come

-tom

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