This Summer I've been working with the Youth group at our Church here in Ramona (FCC Ramona) while I'm down from school. It's sort of a transition—if all goes as I think it will—into a new journey for me and for our church, into full-time position starting next summer (after I graduate from APU). I've been partnering with our current Youth Director in working with the students who are, by the way, a blast. There’s an interesting dynamic that I’m not used to. In most of the youth ministries I’ve been a part of there are a few students who take on a leadership position among their peers. They’re passionate about the worship and/or leading then worship sessions. They’re the first on the list when you bring up a conference, mission event, camp experience, etc. and during Bible studies they usually have good questions or input comments. There are no students within our group who fit this description.
There are a few reasons why this may be but surely the most obvious is this: We don’t have worship sessions, we don’t go to conferences, mission trips, or camps together. When I’m not around they don’t do a whole lot of Bible study either, except on Sunday morning at Sunday school. My theory is that these types of events create leaders within groups and give students a sense of vision ownership for their group.
It’s hard to do anything without vision. While I’m here we’re doing a lot more Bible studies and all of our outings have some purpose. Hopefully the students will develop a greater sense of mission.
It’s actually nice entering a Youth Ministry like this. There are a lot of possibilities. I’m not entering a well established ministry that has already made up its mind about how it worships and lives. We have the freedom to really go a different direction other than the cookie cutter youth group. I can actually teach some pretty heavy stuff without people calling me a heretic. Where many would be afraid, I am excited. Now comes the challenge of actually building a understanding of worship and actually incorporating worship, finding the right events and mission opportunities, etc.
Whatever the challenges I'm humbly and sorta nervously looking forward to it.