Summertime is defined as a period of fruition (a state of bearing fruit), fulfillment, happiness, and beauty. Being in education, I get the opportunity to witness the excitement on the faces of students and teachers in anticipation of summer. It’s a time to finally get out of the building, go on vacation, get to the aquatic center, stay up late and sleep all day! As I read one of the definitions of summer, it reminded me that summer is not just a time for relaxation but it is also a time of reflection. Summer represents a time of completion. Many people enjoy summer because it’s a time to realize you just completed something. For instance, our 8th graders are happy because they’ve completed middle school and now get the opportunity to transition to high school. High school seniors are happy because after 13 long years of school, they are finally finished with school and have the choice of whether they want to go to college. Summer is a period of fulfillment, of bearing fruit, and happiness.
So just like when the seasons change from winter, spring, summer, and fall, there will be changes in how we do things with our youth. Did you notice I said WITH our youth and not FOR our youth? To do ministry WITH is to create an atmosphere of collaboration and growth. I was encouraged when I attended the Ignite youth conference in Des Moines. A seasoned youth pastor challenged a room full of youth leaders to turn their youth ministry over to the youth. He repeatedly stated,
“Never do anything for young people in the church they can learn to do themselves. Do it with them.”
Ahh, at last, this was a statement that was confirmation in my heart! I’ve always seen teenagers do things at school. In the schools, teens are presidents and co-presidents of student led activities. They plan prom, homecoming events, and even write and give the speeches at many of the assemblies. However, when they come to their youth ministry, they sit on the side and watch adults run around doing everything. It has been said that the disciples could’ve possibly been teenagers when Jesus asked them to follow Him. Yes, Jesus could’ve literally been the first youth pastor!! Imagine that!!
So this summer, we will begin the transition of turning the youth ministry over to the youth and do ministry WITH them. BCC, are you ready for the summer season? The teens will be the leaders over HYPE! They will set the budget, invite friends, order the food, plan the games, and prepare the messages and discussions. Don’t worry. Of course, we will be there doing ministry WITH them!
Now I would like to hear your replies and comments as to what areas in your home or at church that we need to stop doing things FOR our teens and do things WITH them?