If I could communicate one message about youth ministry to adults in the church, it would be this: “Youth ministry is important!” It’s important, because young people (like all people) are important to God. Agreeing with this message is one thing – living it out is something different altogether One of the ways churches can live out this message is by empowering youth pastors and youth workers to care for young people in effective ways. I experienced this firsthand last weekend, when youth workers from eleven of our congregations were sent out by their local churches to attend Renewal, a retreat for youth workers focused on nurturing their personal spiritual lives and revitalising their ministries. Several leaders who attended have shared how this weekend warmed their heart in a new, restoring way, casting new vision for their respective ministries. Many of them were moved to tears, expressing sentiments along the lines of, “God gave me the assurance that I needed; He really has called me, even me, to be part of the big work He’s doing in the world by ministering to youth.” This was possible because local churches believed in the importance of healthy youth ministers and healthy youth ministries. Do you believe youth ministry is important? Does your church operate in such a way that it demonstrates the importance of youth ministry?
This year, we have designed a set of goals which apply on both the national and local church level. These goals are designed to encourage the discipleship of Christian youth, the evangelism of unchurched youth, and the development of leaders in youth ministry. Will you demonstrate your belief in the importance of youth ministry by helping your church tackle these goals?
In the 2013-2014 youth ministry year, we hope to see…
• Every local church youth ministry send an adult youth ministry leader to all four youth ministry training opportunities.
• IGNITE Camp reach 300 campers through every local youth ministry participating and bringing along some unchurched youth.
• Local churches identify young leaders and empower them through involvement in the Spark Youth Leadership Team, young leader gatherings, and/or ministry opportunities in the local church and at IGNITE Camp.
• Christian youth live out the vision of the 360 Revolution – identify three friends who don’t know Jesus, pray for their salvation six days a week, and miss zero opportunities to share Christ with them.
• Youth make first time commitments to Christ in every local youth ministry.
• Each local youth ministry provide at least two youth-specific discipleship opportunities per month.
• Opportunities for youth to give of their time, talent and finances for the benefit of others and the Kingdom.
Know that you are not on this journey alone! Pastor Atu Lagi and myself are here to work alongside you, provide resources, and encourage you in any way that we can. Not only that, but all of our local church youth ministries are in this together! As a team, let’s aim together for God-sized goals this year, for the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. (Click here for a full list of these goals )And remember, it’s important!
by Rev Amber Livermore
Rev. Amber Livermore is a
Global Partners intern missionary serving as the National Youth
Consultant for the Wesleyan Methodist Church of NZ