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Youth Ministry in the Church Is the World’s Most Important Job

youth ministry in the church

How’s that for a title? Is youth ministry in the church really that vital? To me, I don’t think the headline is an oversell. I truly believe this with all my heart. I’ve always thought youth ministry was the best job in the entire world. But more and more, I’m convinced it’s also the most important.

You see, we live in a culture that has totally abandoned kids. Chap Clark has been talking about this for years. But now we’re realizing the full ramifications.

Clark argues that adults have abandoned kids, who now occupy the “world beneath.” All the organizations that were supposed to come alongside families and support the character development and care of kids have abandoned kids as well. Teachers teach to the test, coaches coach for the win, and even youth workers plan for the numbers. And in all of this, kids go unseen. Teens are living in this hidden world where it is truly the Lord of the Flies.

What none of us realized is that this world beneath has become the world above. The cloud has become the center of life for all of us but the center of reality for students. And now, more than ever, they feel abandoned. Parents are just as distracted on their phones as kids are. Except parents are fully formed adults, while kids are half-cooked.

We’re seeing the fruit of this abandonment with the astronomical rise in anxiety, depression and suicide. We see teens self-medicating with anything they can get their hands on. They’re trying to be distracted by as much technology as they can consume between dopamine hits from social media platforms.

This Is Where Youth Ministry in the Church Comes In

Students are abandoned. They live in the cloud and are being destroyed internally. Yet they’re still human beings whom God made in his image. Teenagers desperately need human interaction, human connection, and human care.

That’s why youth ministry in the church is so crucial. When you step in, slow down, and actually see a kid, you make a true impact on them. By acknowledging young people’s humanity, seeing them through the lens of Christ, and speaking words of love and affection on them, you’re actually changing their lives.

This requires you to not be on your phone. Don’t buy into the dopamine rush and trick yourself that you’re actually connecting with kids because you’re present in their online world. Those things are important, but that’s not where transformation happens.

Life change occurs in actual human interaction. And it’s that human interaction and empathy that builds the strands in kids’ hearts so they can actually encounter God and experience the love, grace, and empathy found in Christ.

In this brutal culture, you’re one of the only adults in these kids’ lives who actually sees them. You’re one of the only people who doesn’t need anything from them, who doesn’t need them to perform. You only need to make eye contact with them and remind them of their true humanity and true worth. And because you’re one of the only adults who do this, this makes your job and calling the most important job on the planet!

So don’t slack off. And don’t lose heart! Embrace your calling to do youth ministry in the church. And work with all your might to love your kids…right into the kingdom of God!