This is a question we need to keep at the forefront of our ministry with youth: "What's your message?" It's a question that can easily get lost in the busyness of youth ministry and yet it is critical to our enterprise. It also helps to clarify why we do what we do.
Youth ministry is multifaceted. It involves programs, some of which are very complicated and dynamic. It also involves administrative details and managing relationships at many levels. I am sure you can add to this. As youth workers, we can be kept quite busy, especially those whose primary employment is outside the church. Lots of demands. It is easy to lose sight of the message.
In "Internet Ministry: Delivering the Message in Cyberspace," Shane Raynor reminds us of the importance of methods being in service of the message; a message that does not change. He advocates the use of the internet but reminds us that we need to be like John Wesley in that when he adapted new methods, it was because of the importance of the message and the need to get it out to as wide an audience as possible. Raynor
So what is the message? Raynor sums it up thus as he breaks down prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace: "Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead, conquering death. It's through believing in Christ that we are forgiven and receive eternal life, and it's through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can put away sin and become more like Christ. Not only that, we can have assurance of our salvation" (Raynor 2011, 135). This is the good news of Jesus Christ.
What place does the good news of Jesus Christ have in our youth ministries? What about yours?
Raynor, Shane. "Internet Ministry: Delivering the Message in Cyberspace" in Generation Rising: A Future with Hope for the United Methodist Church, ed. Andrew Thompson, 132-142. Nashvilee: Abingdon,2011.
Loving God, Loving Neighbor