Why do I do youth ministry? Why do you? Is it just because the church needs young people? Is it to keep them entertained and coming to . . . ? What about their parents? Are we doing youth ministry to make parents happy? Could it be that we participate in/lead youth ministry because the church has always done it or a church should have a youth group? What about a bigger purpose? What about God? What about Jesus Christ? What about the Holy Spirit? Where does God figure in our youth ministry? Side note, center, absent? We can do all the seeming right things and even be in the church building, but God could be absent or, at best, only a point of reference.
If we are in youth ministry in the name of Christ for the glory of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we would begin with God and center our lives, focus, and activities in God. Not only would we start with and center in God, but we would want to be channels that lead our students to life in Jesus Christ. Here is a question from Ministry by Teenagers: Developing Leaders from Within: "How great are your youth ministries if we 'aren't seeing much' of kids putting their trust in Jesus or growing spiritually" (McKee and Smith 2011, 10). In other words, can youth ministries be great if students do not show spiritual growth or come to faith in Christ? This question was prompted by responses to a survey on the use of youth ministry resources in relation to "introducing teens to Jesus" and "teens growing spiritually."
So when you think of youth ministry and great youth ministry, where is God? What's your purpose?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor