There are all sorts of tools for youth ministry.
There are apps, blogs, books and social media that are all tools.
My fear is that tools can become the focus.
Why do you do youth ministry? What are all of these tools trying to accomplish?
I will give you a hint, it has nothing to do with;
- How large your youth ministry is
- How cool your logo is
- How many people follow the group on social media
- How hip your leaders are
So then what’s the point of all of this? It’s found in this very popular passage of scripture. This is one of the last things Jesus said to his followers before he ascended into heaven.
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
More Making Than Going
If you are anything like me, when you read this passage you think mission field. I don’t think that is the case. In fact the active verb is not “go” but “make”. In fact this would be the Tyson paraphrase of verse 19, “where ever you find yourself going, MAKE disciples”. Therefore the most important question you can ask is, are you being effective at making disciples? Everything else is just a tool to make disciples. This should dictate where all of your focus needs to be.
More Hebrew Less Greek
So how do you disciple students effectively? Unfortunately we often have a Greek way of discipling –us giving students information. We are the wise ones that will pour information into their brains and they will be followers of Jesus.
I think a Hebrew model works better. It is more of a walk-with-me approach to discipleship. Think of Jesus with his 12 and then those 12 each have people they are discipling and it goes on and on. This chart might help to show the differences between the two approaches.
Count The Cost
If you are serious about discipleship it will be difficult. It is easier to stand in front of a crowd of students and only preach to them, it is much harder to disciple those same students effectively.
It requires lots of leaders, lots of your time and a spiritual, plus emotional investment. The cost is high but this is what Jesus wants us to do.
So please, for the sake of your students, don’t focus on all of the different tools, focus on effectively discipling students.