A changed life. This is the greatest reward in ministry to youth. I was once in a youth group. The Lord also allowed me the privilege of working with youth. I’ve worked with non-Christian youth, church kids youth and even kids living in a juvenile delinquent home. And now I am the mother of youth. My objective for ministry remains the same….change lives for eternity and impact the culture.
The challenges facing our youth continue to increase every year. There is not a quick fix or short term program that will provide the results that we need. Is it possible to develop a youth ministry that will provide youth workers and parents with the biblical principles that will equip their kids for life beyond youth group? Yes. A big shout out to our friend Kurt Johnston (youth pastor at Saddleback Church under Rick Warren) who pointed Todd and I to some of the best resources out there.
Today I want to share a resource we began using last year…The Seven Checkpoints by Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall. The material in this book and the devotional book for teens reveals what Andy calls the “irreducible minimum” – the essential principles upon which an entire youth ministry can be built. With this strategy…
Imagine meeting with the parents of your students and showing them the seven principles that serve as the foundation for all you will teach their kids.
Imagine having a content calendar that can be used to guide the development of your activity calendar throughout the year.
Imagine having a handful of carefully crafted principles to choose from in developing the theme of every camp or retreat.
The Seven Principles every teen needs to know are…
1. Authentic Faith
2. Spiritual Disciplines
3. Moral Boundaries
4. Healthy Friendships
5. Wise Choices
6. Ultimate Authority
7. Others First
The keys to developing an effective youth ministry are:
1. Innovative leaders.
2. Belief that students can experience the deeper things of God.
3. Leaders that have a genuine and living faith, empowering others by showing the way and not just telling the way.
4. A clear strategy so that the goal is accomplished rather than just gathering a crowd.
My passion is to live these 7 principles first and teach them second. What about you? What’s going on in the youth group at your church? What challenges are you facing?