First, the term “youth ministry” has worked well for a very long time. Why change it? Often when we say youth ministry, we think of a youth group, one or a few adult leaders, a program and activities for young people whose families attend our church. “Youth Presence” widens and expands this concept by focusing on the presence of Christ in young people’s lives and how their presence transforms our congregations. A strong youth presence is different in every place and possible in every place. When you say that you are involved in youth ministry, the first question that is asked is, how big is your group? Seldom does someone inquire about relationships or faith or the presence of Christ among the young people. What if we could measure our success not by numbers but by who the young people are and how they make a difference in the world and in our lives?
The foundations of Youth Presence change our understanding of who we are and how we live out our ministry with youth:
- Presence means the presence of Christ in young people’s lives.
- Where you go says a lot about who you are.
- Youth presence is more than a group, programs or activities for young people.
- Presence is how a young person experiences Christ when he or she encounters you or your congregation.
- This approach is about how young people can transform your congregation by their presence.
Secondly, a strong youth presence can be built in any context when there is a vision and people who are committed to it. This is not a quick fix or easy cure. This approach takes time, hard word and tenacious commitment but it is well worth it. Imagine what your congregation will be like with a great throng of teenagers who not only participate but lead. Who not only receive but give. Who change your life because of who they are. Not only is this possible, it is essential to the growth and health of your congregation.
Thirdly, many say that youth ministry is a priority but don’t know where to start or aren’t willing to make the commitment and sacrifice to make it a reality. Let our team train you, support you and most of all walk side by side as this presence develops before your very eyes. You won’t believe what is about to happen if you focus and invest in the presence!
SO LET’S BEGIN AND SEE WHERE GOD WILL LEAD!