What is a passionate youth ministry and what does it mean to be passionate? This question is crucial if one wants to have a successful ministry. Imagine surrounding yourself with people that are passionate about students, or in my case…middle school students. What would that look like?
Jonathan McKee made a few comments about this, thought he did in a indirect way “Relational evangelism requires a lot of effort and patience.” Now, the context here is evangelism. However, I find that passionate ministry is relational evangelism. To be passionate about youth ministry one must understand that students want relationships, many times this something they lack in their own lives. If we are passionate about students we need to passionate about what makes them tick, cry, hurt, laugh, etc. We need to be that presence in their lives. To do that we need to become relational. I see it this way, we are either living a life of passionate ministry, one that is evangelistic and relational or we are flaky and want to feel good about themselves and need a painless way to serve, which’s byproduct is little or no impact in students lives.
What must change?
Again Jonathan McKee states something that is awesome “If we are going to impact unchurched students, first we need to figure out their frames. The best way to do this is through research, observation, and asking questions.” Again, McKee is talking about evangelistic efforts in regards to student ministry, yet I see the transfer. Why would someone who calls themselves a youth pastor, wanting to be a youth pastor, youth worker, whatever…not engage in these types of observations? Seems simple right? If you’re passionate about something you’re going to read up on everything you can about that subject. I have a friend who loves bugs? He buys books and goes on outing to catch little creatures. He does this on his own time, I would say that he’s passionate about bugs…he loves bugs. BUT, are we passionate about our students (or students in general) as my friend is passionate about his bugs? Do we really love our students enough to spend time with them or make that phone call, or even better…pray for them through out the week? As McKee states…do we know their frames?
I want to challenge my leaders, friend, family to be passionate about what God has called them to be passionate in. Some that might be disaster relief, high school ministry, middle school ministry, etc. I don’t know about you all…but I’m passionate about my students and even the one’s I haven’t meet yet. I want to know what makes them…well…THEM! I want them to see Jesus in everything I do. I want them to feel loved, known and care for. If you are in student ministry and are not passionate about students…do yourself the favor and re-evaluate where God wants you. Life is too short to allow our students to pass through our ministry where we only care about them from a superficial level. This is a special calling…