Is Your Youth Ministry Christian?

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communications.  Not a typical degree of a Catholic youth minister; but, then again I don’t want to lead a typical youth ministry.  Our vision is to make church matter by growing disciples who will grow other disciples.  Essentially we want to nurture and cultivate followers of Christ.  So that we never lose focus of our vision we constantly look at our values and strategies.

An easy trap for youth ministers and their ministries to fall into is to lose sight of their purpose.  It’s easy to say that your youth ministry is all about creating disciples of Christ; however, would someone with an outside perspective agree?  In other words is your youth ministry truly Christian?  It might be and than it might be driven by:

Political Agendas: 

There are many different political agendas that impact Christianity from pro-life to poverty issues. You might be personally passionate about one in particular; however, you have to be careful that it does not consume your ministry.  

While it’s important to share Truth you need to make sure you are not stuck on one issue.  You could be ignoring the whole scope of loving God, loving others and making disciples.  Do not use your youth ministry as your political soap box.

Traditional Events: 

Events are good because they can create momentum.  They can also be moments of celebration.  Events could also be the biggest consumer of time, energy and focus.  If people care about the events in your church more than they do Christ you might have to look at making changes.  

Tweaking the purpose, how you approach them and whether or not you do them will be big topics to discuss.  Do not be afraid to change it up.  Make sure you stay focused on the vision.

Yourself: 

As a leader you need to have a presence in your youth ministry.  The problem is when the attention stays on you.  A question every youth minister needs to approach is, “What will happen the day I walk away?” If you are not confident about your succession plan, then start working on one.  

Delegate responsibilities, introduce other leaders to your ministry and make sure it does not rise and fall on your celebrity.  You are important to your youth ministry, just not the only thing.

Just because your youth ministry is called Christian does not mean it always acts that way.  The most important thing to remember is that you are a part of a spiritual battle and there will be times when you are fooled, tempted and pressured to make your ministry anything but about Christ.

What are your thoughts?  Leave your comments.