What is at the heart of our youth/student ministry, or rather, who? What and/or who is our main motivation? Is it pleasing the local church, the pastor, the parents, the youth? Is it keeping our job? Of course, all of these may be important, but the key question is, where is God? Where does God fit with respect to our key impetus?
Our instinctive answer may be to say that, “Naturally, God is at the center of the ministry,” the ministry with which God has entrusted us. Instinctive, but would it be true? How can we really tell? The answer takes us to our departure point and our purpose, which feeds our motivation.
What place does prayer have in our youth/student ministry? Is it the basis of everything that we do, that is, our point of departure? Do we check in with God at the beginning and along the way to hear God’s will and ensure that we are pleasing God? What is our primary purpose? Is it to bring glory to God? Is it that students will know God in Christ Jesus? Do we ourselves know God?
There are many pieces to youth ministry. It is easy to get lost among them, easy to lose sight of God. The only way we can keep God at the center is to ground our lives in prayer, spending time in God’s presence and in the study of the Word of God. We need prayerful and prayer-filled lives through which our love for God and God’s people increase. We also need to accompany prayer with the study of the Bible so that we would know the triune God and God’s will more. Out of these ways of being will flow a greater commitment to doing the will of God and we will find our joy and completeness in God. These are Spirit-filled lives. How can we do this, especially at a time when it seems crazier than usual? But it is now that we need to start. Now when it is crazy. If we step back and allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate such lives of prayer, meditation, and study in us at the “wrong” time, how much richer will they be in the “right” time?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor