The Tight Rope
You can almost feel the collective excitement in the air. Summer is ending, school is beginning and our students are back. This is an incredibly important time in student ministries all across the country. It is a time to make first impressions and often times 2nd first impressions with out students. It is a time of new beginnings, new programs and new relationships. If you are like me you have planned some pretty exciting programs and ministry opportunities to being the year. Just last night we had our big youth group kick off night for the fall and had a ton of kids show up, it felt great and was a lot of fun. The welcome back programs, the hospitality and the special food for nights like this are all great. It is always around this time of year that I find myself walking a very thin tight rope in my student ministry. It is a tight rope balanced between two notions of ministry, relevant ministry and suitcase packing ministry.
Both are good and neither are bad, but where one dominates the other cannot survive (I think that is also true of Voldemort and Harry Potter, but I digress)
Here is the problem: I am finding that so many student ministries around the country are imagining, developing and implementing really meaningful and relevant series and messages for their students and I believe that it is harming our students long term faith. Not only is relevant ministry harming their long term faith I believe it is also destroying their ability to interpret the faith in relevant and meaningful ways in their own lives.
Let me explain. Continue Reading…