The Real Stuff

June 08, 2010

So much of what we do in youth ministry is about entertainment and relationships. It is pretty easy to start to believe that working with kids is about gimmicks and hanging out. This last week I was reminded about what real ministry is all about and, believe it or not, I don’t like it.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is significant and the only thing that I do which matters, but I like going to Six Flags better.

You see, in the last week, we had the normal youth ministry duties of attending graduations and open houses. Our ministry was able to baptize 10 students. We saw a couple of students find their way into churches, and had the privilege of leading a couple of these students to Christ. I liked that. During the same week however, we had four different students, from the same school of 350, attempted suicide. One of these kids was successful. They came from separate friendship groups, and none were knowledgeable of the other attempts.

On Monday of the week of graduation, a father of four of our students came home and passed away. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It was untimely. I spent part of an afternoon talking to a student about this struggle and the loss of his father. His friend came with him to my office and expressed, that days earlier, he had lost his girlfriend of two years. He was sure it would last forever.

Two weeks prior to this, a young man, gearing his life for ministry, having just graduated from Bible College died in a tragic bicycle accident. His friend who was also the churches youth pastor, was responsible to not only deal with the loss of his friend but to somehow trust God to help him lead through the crisis.

Death, grief, sickness pain and poverty are the reasons that we do ministry.

Saying that it is a small part of what we do is like calling the crucifixion a necessary evil. It was why Christ came. Despite this truth, most conferences are promoted based on the quality of the party.

Now in case you imagine our ministry to be one step short of flogging, I will tell you that we offer kids a good time. Jesus was fishing and at weddings with his friends. I cannot help but think though, that these moments of fun were short reprieves of grace in the middle of God’s mission of sacrifice and dying. It is a matter of mindset.

I don’t have to like ministry in order to realize its value.

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Stephanie KJun. 08 2010, 9:34pm

Mmmm. Well said. Being the hands and feet of Jesus isn’t always easy. Praying.


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