Given the overwhelmingly negative statistics concerning young adults and church involvement, I am willing to go out on a limb here and suggest that engaging teenagers in the life of your congregation is one of the more important things you can do in your student ministry. Stepping a little further out on the limb, let me also suggest that though the application of the Great Commission must be contextualized, the call to make disciples is equally as valid for the teenagers in your congregation as it is for the adults who inhabit your pews.
From the origin of your calling to work with the next generation to the importance of assisting parents in raising their children, a covenantal understanding of scripture has multiple implications for youth ministry. Let me try to whet your appetite by highlighting just two of the many aspects of this special relationship between God and man that have direct bearing on how we do youth ministry.
The first question of youth ministry is one of theological foundation. I am convinced that the particular model of ministry that a church uses is secondary to the theological foundation on which the model is built.
Danny Mitchell will become the new Coordinator of Family and Youth Ministries for Christian Education and Publications in June 2007.He will succeed Dean Conkel, who returned to local church ministry in June 2006. Danny graduated from Covenant College in 1992 with a BS in Biblical Studies and will graduate from Covenant Theological Seminary in May with a Master of Divinity.
Suffice it to say that it is in the church that we ought to learn what it means to be messengers of grace wherever we are. It is in this context that we are to make disciples. We have the great privilege of self consciously bringing the influence of God’s kingdom to a society dimly aware of his nature and purposes.
There has been a steep decline in church attendance beginning with the baby boomers (those born between1946-1964) and continuing to the present generation. The most recent statistics indicate that we are not far from the place where the majority in the United States will identify themselves as something other than Protestant.