During lunch with a high school student recently, I asked why he thought so few of his peers were serious about their faith. After a few mouthfuls of Mexican food, he responded by saying “some of my friends want to make a difference…it’s like we aren’t satisfied with what we see… I guess we don’t see Christianity making much difference. We aren’t sure yet if it is a waste of time so we don’t get that excited about it.”
This three-year discipleship curriculum for teen girls teaches foundational principles of biblical womanhood-and so much more. It’s distinguishing characteristic is an emphasis on seeing all of Scripture and all of life from a gospel perspective.
This past July over 110 high school students and adults representing 43 churches from 14 states gathered at Covenant College for the Youth Excelling in Leadership conference sponsored by CEP. YXL 2009 was a great week spent exploring the theme “LIVE FREE” through Paul’s letter to the Galatians… Next year’s dates are already set for July 5-10! Visit www.pcacep.org/yxl…
I read once that faith is sometimes best understood by looking backwards. Now, on the surface that statement feels a lot like the inside of a Christian greeting card or one of those posters with cute animals and trite sayings that we hang on our walls to inspire us to do great things. However, in this case, I think instead of motivational drivel, this statement is actually biblically correct and has application for youth ministry.
Perhaps the next time your church has a significant prayer need, you should move your teenagers out of the “future of the church” holding pen and into the ministry of your church by asking them to lead the prayer meeting. Based on my YXL experiences this summer, I have a sneaking suspicion that the adults of your church may be encouraged and challenged
If I could offer any advice to youth directors… it would be to make sure that you are constantly communicating to other staff, elders, and parents who you are, what you do, and what is going on in the youth program.
CEP offers a placement service which connects available youth leaders with churches seeking to fill youth staff positions.Youth leaders–may open this article to submit their data form to our “Candidate Database”. Churches may send an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-825-1154 to receive resumes of potential candidates.
Studies continue to show there is a short window of opportunity for information to be acted on until it becomes irrelevant. This reality makes me wonder if student ministries that talk about dropping nets and following Christ, stepping out in faith, dying to self, living for Christ, being salt and light, and going into all the world to make disciples but do not give students opportunities to do these things, or that only allow students a chance to lead recreation at VBS once a year, might actually be guilty of perpetuating the myth of the irrelevance of God’s Word to “real” life.
Helping local churches develop their youth ministry is a top priority for CEP. We are encouraging youth leaders to network their resources and talents within their local presbyteries as well as making useful resources and materials available to local church youth workers.
There are certain lessons I have learned over the last decade and a half in youth ministry. I learned early on that taking students to play paintball really means open season on the youth pastor, and I learned that something always gets broken during a lock-in. I found out that playing youth group games in the sanctuary never ends well and that students seldom bring Bibles to church. I also realized that the most effective way to help students connect the dots between faith and life is having a youth group that worships together, prays for each other, and participates in missions experiences…