Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Book Give-Away Contest Winners

    Thanks to all who entered our contest to celebrate the release of our new book from Youth Specialties/Zondervan. The winners, drawn at random from all who responded, are:

    Roger Shock
    Jeff Nelson
    Benjer McVeigh

    In particular, we want to highlight all the great responses we received to the question: "What is the mission of your youth ministry?" For anyone looking to develop a missional youth ministry, any of these would be a good start for your brainstorming:

    Empowerment, discipleship, social justice, fun and worship to name a few of the concepts I work with in ministering to youth.

    The mission of youth ministry is the same as any other ministry - to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

    All ministry is about translation - the translation of the gospel to people with a wide range of other languages. This translation takes place in a lot of ways, but the primary way we translate the gospel is through authentic, loving relationships, and by modeling the gospel by doing the things that Jesus did. That means we heal the sick, feed the hungry, welcome all, break down barriers that society puts up.

    The goal of our youth ministry is to help kids deepen their understanding of God's love and ways they can experience, grow, and share that love.

    My mission is probably best summed up by 1 Thessalonians 2:8
    "Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."

    Share the Gospel, share life, love students.

    I like to use a form of group spiritual direction as a way for teens to recognize that they do have body, mind and SOUL! And they rock!!

    To bring them in from the world and introduce them to Christ. Build them up with love to be Christ-like, Train them for their God given gifts, and send them out to share the gospel and lift up the name of the Lord.

    Youth Ministry is about sharing the story of our Christian faith such that youth can understand it, embrace it, love it and share it. It is also about modeling what it is like to BE Christian, putting God first among life's priorities. It is also about loving these kids as they are, where they are at a time when they question whether they are loved at all by anyone.

    To develop relationships between youth and caring mature Christian adults so that the love of Jesus Christ and of the Body of Christ on earth will become the most important thing in their lives and to give opportunities to youth to use their gifts in the work of the Church NOW.

    Personally, my goal is to show them that they can have a real relationship with God. I want the goal of the youth group to be to seek Him and to desire Him above all else. To know that satisfaction can only be found in Him - not of the world. And, I want them to know that they can help and be involved in their communities. That what they are doing here and now does matter.

    This question has highlighted, to me, the need to find a better way to state our mission so that it reflects the larger mission of the UMC, which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Currently, our stated mission is: to be an inviting and accepting community for the youth and their friends that surrounds youth with unconditional love; that nurtures genuine relationships; focuses youth in the inspirations and traditions of the Christian faith; energizes and equips youth to extend the love of Christ to the world.

    Youth ministry is about teaching and encouraging teenagers to love God and love others with everything we have and to find their purpose within their community.

    Our mission for youth ministry is to serve, disciple and send the youth of Ambridge to serve, disciple and send others.

    Love God and love others.

    Our mission is to be hyped about our Savior, and create disciples who know what it means to love, serve and praise our awesome God.

    To see students and their families transformed by the saving love of Jesus...same mission as our church.

    Our Youth Mission statement is:  We praise Christ as he dwells in our hearts through faith. We care for all of God's children as we reflect God's light to the world as ambassadors of Christ. We help others to grow in faith by preparing people to follow God and obey his commands.

    Our mission is to provide opportunities for young people to taste and see that the Lord is good by serving those who are suffering so that Christ might be revealed among us.

    I think the mission of youth ministry, as was mentioned above, is the same as the church's mission: to love God, love people, and make disciples of Jesus Christ. However, I think we have the additional responsibility of meeting the unique needs of adolescents and their families, and empowering teens to live out the gospel for themselves!
    My mission as a youth minister? To connect with teens right where they are, show them that God loves them just as they are, and walk with them into the next step of their spiritual journey, wherever that may lead.