What students need from their youth leaders

My good friend in Youth Ministry, Tim Schmoyer, has a list of 1oo blog topics he hopes others will write about.  This entry is the second time I have taken one of those ideas and blogged.

I think students needs just 3 things from their youth leaders:

  1. they need youth leaders who love Jesus more than anything else
  2. they need youth leaders who love them
  3. they need youth leaders who believe in them to accomplish great things for the Kingdom

I know.  Nothing profound or earth-shattering.  However, I believe if more youth leaders would provide this for their teenagers then there would be a whole lot more healthy youth ministries out there and even more teenagers who took their faith to a whole new level because they would see it modeled by people who do have incredible influence over them.  We are shepherds to our flocks of teenagers that God has entrusted us with and I wonder if we take that responsibility as seriously as we should. 

It should come as no surprise that the passage that fuels my first two points is appropriately referred to by Jesus as “the first and greatest commandment.”

37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40

My final point is actually the culmination of several passages that all point to this God-sized mission that we have been called to fulfill.  For a few centuries now it has been called “The Great Commission” but in recent months it has been reclaimed and renamed, “THE Cause!”

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. – Luke 19:10

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. – 2 Peter 3:9-10

You see, God has called us all to the same mission, to make disciples who make disciples (Matt 28:19-20).  He has called us to the same thing that fueled His earthly mission (Luke 19:10).  He has commanded us to take the mission to our spheres of influence and both hemispheres (Acts 1:8).  And He has given us great urgency to take care of business now (2 Peter 3:9-11).

Youth Leaders. 

Give God your love.

Give the teens in your care your love.

Fulfill God’s mission with them.


5 responses to “What students need from their youth leaders

  • Brian Ford

    Actually, in some cases and churches today your three points are profound and earth shattering. Just imagine what would happen to our students and schools if we ALL lived out those three simple but profound steps.

    Great post bro! Good to see you blogging again regularly.

  • branjohns

    great stuff. I would agree with Brian. I think these points are profound for some churches… and most churches from time to time. I struggle with getting to heavy on the teaching portion of ym and forgetting the relational side and vice versa. I’m so incredibly lucky that I have youth leaders on our leaders who constantly keep me focused on one when I struggle. Thanks Jason and God bless.

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  • Thom Stout

    I agree but one of the things that I would change is the definition of Youth Leader. I have unfortunately found that YL means someone who never desires to grow up. So maybe just people instead of YL. I appreciate your post Jason and I needed to read this today. Hope to catch up with you sometime in a van wrapped in THE Cause!

    shalom

  • What students need from their Youth Leaders – Love God! « Jason G. Lamb

    [...] This is #1 of 3 video updates that follows up with my previous post: What students need from their Youth Leaders [...]

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