As another school year begins, here are 3 reasons why I am excited about our youth ministry!!! (The three exclamation points show my excitement)
1. Our youth ministry has really grown the past couple of years and so has our number of volunteers. We also have awesome facilities now. Thus, beginning this year we will now be able to offer some separate ministries for middle school and high school students. Our Sunday night small groups will have separate times for each age group and a curriculum that is specific for them. In addition, we will have separate trips in the winter and separate mission trips in the summer. I cannot wait to get started!
2. We are really pushing for our youth to attend Sunday morning services with their families. We are going to try something new in terms of Sunday School in order to really emphasize the importance of being a part of the larger church. This thought process is the result of recent research coming from books like "Almost Christian" and "Sticky Faith." Our concern is that many of our students are only attached to the youth group and not the church as a whole...we want to try and change that.
3. I love our Wednesday night services. We have youth from various ages and backgrounds together in fellowship and worship. More importantly, the students are beginning to run most of the service besides the message. We have a youth-led praise band, youth working the computer and sound board, and youth reading the announcements and scripture readings. Sometimes this means things aren't perfect, but I love to see them taking ownership and I hope that we continue to improve in this area.
I'm in my 11th year of working with students and still love every minute of it. Although, sleeping on the floor is not as much fun.
Oh, and here is the funny video. I don't think I fit any of the youth pastor stereotypes except for the facial hair one. Enjoy!