It’s a simple thought, but one I have been thinking about, going back to my challenge for the students this past weekend.
In the grand scheme of things, the world teens face today is brutal. I graduated high school nearly 7 years ago, but even in just that short span of time, the world has changed. Teens are faced with so much more evil, and can now access it anywhere thanks to smart phones. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but the internet being that portable and personal for a teenage boy specifically, knowing tempation is already haunting him, and now its more accessible than ever.
And thats just one of many examples of how difficult Teens have it today. If you work with youth, then you know how dark their days can be, how beaten down these students can get, so easily.
The status quo of our teens lives, of their friends, of their schools, is destroying them. We all know that, I know this isn’t news.
But I fear that too often our ministries are simply distractions. They can grab students attention’s for a while, offer hope for a few days, if were lucky, but in the end, more often than not, their lives aren’t changing. If they are living a sin, then our Sunday Night lesson may touch them, and they may resolve to change, only to go back a few days/weeks later. To often, our ministries simply offer distractions.
Our Ministries need to be Disruptions. I’m big on having our entry level night being some what lighter on the teaching, because I want new students to feel comfortable enough to get connected with us. I know a lot of ministries share this mindset. But at some point, each student needs to encounter a disruption. Whether its through a message, a small group lesson, or a one-on-one conversation.
For some students, really for most students, I think that disruption starts with love. Their status quo continually feeds them this idea that they aren’t good enough, athletic enough, pretty enough, popular enough. One major disruption to MOST students status quo is when their youth leader/youth pastor lets them know they love them exactly as they are. It’s one of those things we see and read about, but we hardly ever take the time to actually do.
If you want your ministry to be a disruption, show a student love this week. Not just love because they showed up, but because of who they are. It’s one thing to appreciate their presence and the extra number for the total attendance, but its another to appreciate something unique about them, appreciating them for who they are.