Why Youth Ministry Is the Most Important Job in the World
How is that for an oversell! I actually don’t think that it is an oversell. I truly believe this with all my heart. I have always thought youth ministry was the best job in the entire world, but more and more, I am convinced that it is the most important.
You see, we live in a culture that has totally abandoned kids. Chap Clark has been talking about this for over 15 years. But now the ramifications are being fully realized.
Clark argued that kids have been abandoned by adults and are occupying 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 and 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 have been abandoned because parents are just as distracted on their phones as kids are, except that parents are fully formed adults and our kids are half cooked.
We are seeing the fruit of this abandonment with the astronomical rise in anxiety, depression and suicide. We see kids self-medicating with anything they can get their hands on and trying to be distracted by as much technology as they can consume between dopamine hits from their social media.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN:
Students have been abandoned, they live in the cloud, and they are being destroyed internally. While this is true, they are still human beings made in the image of God and are in desperate need of human interaction, human connection and human care.
When you step in, slow down and actually see a kid, you make a true impact on them. By acknowledging their humanity, seeing them through the lens of Christ and speaking words of love and affection on them, you are actually changing their lives.
This requires you to not be on your phone, to not buy into the dopamine rush and trick yourself that you are actually connecting with your kids because you are present in their online world. Those things are important, but that is not where transformation happens. Life change occurs in the actual human interaction, and it is that human interaction and empathy that builds the strands in their hearts so they can actually encounter God and experience the love and grace and empathy that is found in Christ.
In this brutal culture where our kids live, you are one of the only adults in these kids’ lives who actually see them. You are one of the only people who doesn’t need anything from them, who doesn’t need them to perform. You simply only need to make eye contact with them and remind them of their true humanity and their true worth. And because you are 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, don’t lose heart. Embrace your calling and work with all of your might to love your kids, right into the kingdom of God!
This article originally appeared here.