“We need to be diligent in our job as youth workers because the youth we have are the church of tomorrow, they are our future!”
This commonly used statement makes my blood boil! It is simply not true and these words need to be erased from our vocabularies. But unfortunately, that is the stereotype most people hold about youth ministry, that they are the church of tomorrow. However, the fact is they are the church of TODAY and they need to be treated as such. It is our job as youth workers to empower students to change their world now! Here is how..
1. Let students know they can change the world NOW!
It may sound dumb, but students need your permission. They need to be told that it’s okay to be the church of today and they do not need to wait until they are older. Everything they have ever known has been “preparation” for when they are older, but they need to know that it is okay to be who God created them to be now.
Have confidence in your students and let them know they are not just the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today and can make a major impact NOW!
2. Give students opportunities to lead
One of the biggest complaints you will hear from churches across America is that there are no young leaders out there. First off, I totally disagree with that! Second, if your church is having that issue it is totally a self created issue. The church is the one responsible for that issue.
We NEED to teach our students to lead. Create spaces for them to lead. Develop student leadership teams and train them to be leaders. We cannot expect our students and young adults to be leaders if we never give them opportunities to lead.
3. Teach them HOW to change their world!
Don’t just tell your student to go change the world, explain to them what that looks like and how to do it. One of the biggest flaws in churches is that we never get specific, we tell people to do things and change things but we never show them how.
Practically teach your students how to invite someone to church, tell someone about Jesus, navigate their Bible, lead someone to Christ, pray, lead others to make a difference, start something new, be innovative. Get specific and teach them HOW to change their world.
Give your students the confidence they need to feel empowered to change their world now! Our students have major potential and we need to be stewards of that potential by empowering them to do BIG things for Christ now, and not wait until the future.
Todd has been in youth ministry for over a decade and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com