I receive a daily email called Simply Youth Ministry Today. The writers offer insights on various aspects of youth ministry and the church. This week they have been writing about the future of the church. I thought what Josh Griffin wrote yesterday was good.
The future of youth ministry sure is a topic that has been getting some play for a while. And while that is very interesting to me, I thought it might be interesting to think about what we know is going to happen to the whole church in a few years:
The students in your ministry will be the parents in your church in 10 years
The students you are counseling, nudging and caring for are the parents in your church in a few years. These kids will be having kids (if you’ve been in youth ministry a while, it is a disconcerting feeling to say the least) and they will be the parents.
So? Teach them well. Step in as a role-model in single parent homes. Nudge students to honor and love their parents a little more this week. Help them realize that in the not-so-distant future they’ll be the mom and dad their teen is frustrated with. Oh, and help them stay pure in the meantime so parenthood doesn’t happen earlier than it should.
The students in your ministry will be the missionaries of the world in 12 years
The students who are on your Spring Break trip or with you in Costa Rica this summer are going to be the missionaries of the future. They are the ones to take the Gospel to the last people groups who haven’t heard and translate the Bible into the final most obscure languages.
If that’s true … Get as many of your students to experience missions as possible. Model servanthood to them. Fight for more scholarship money to get kids on these trips. Don’t hold back when it is time to push them.
The students in your ministry will run the church in 15 years
The students you are mentoring, discipling and reaching for Jesus right now are going to be the elders, deacons and pastors of the church. They are going to be making game-changing decisions about the standards of the church and the interpretation of the Bible. They are going to be hit with a myriad of huge decisions (our generation wrestled with but will largely leave to them).
My point? Disciple your students well. Make sure they are grounded in the Word. Make apologetics a priority. Give away leadership to them now so they have some experience when the church is given to them.
So what is the future of the church? Look no further than your own youth ministry to see it today.