Friday, September 2, 2011

Y is for Youth considering Youth Ministry

When you work in youth ministry you end up with a lot of different youth that you come into contact with.  Some youth love the program, they make it a priority and you can count on them to participate and be a part of everything you do.  Some youth are hit or miss, they have a good time when they are there but are not always there.  There are those that struggle with their beliefs and those that struggle with life in general.  Some you are really close to and some no matter how hard you try to reach them, you just can’t seem to do it.  Yep that’s the life in youth ministry.  You win some, you lose some but your ultimate goal is still the same, to help them all have a relationship with Christ. 
Everyone once in a while you run into a youth that at a young high school age shows the signs and the passion of wanting to go into ministry.  You can just see it in them.  It has nothing to do with their involvement.  There are plenty of youth that are heavily involved but there is just a spark sometimes about certain youth.  I have a youth with the abilitiy to work with children and youth, the Christ centered outlook on life, and the wonderful patience level that it takes to work in youth ministry.  Philip showed very early on that he has what it takes to work in the ministry. 
Philip brings it all to the table and the best part is the laid back easy going attitude and approach that he has to life.  When he was a freshman in high school is when I first saw his leadership ability.  He was really excited about and loved youth group.  Throughout his years at church he continued to grow in his spirituality and show me that he had what it takes to work with kids for a living.  He was loved by all the children of our church and a big hit at VBS.  The youth loved and respected him.  Adults were surprised when he made the effort to strike up a conversation.
I made efforts to help Philip along the way.  He was the head of our youth leadership team.  I took him to a youth conference in Chicago to help him get some more experience in what it was like to be in ministry.  Our pastor allowed Philip to shadow him for a day and see what he does on a regular basis.  On his graduation Sunday at the church, Philip lead the message during both services.  Whenever he is in town, he comes and helps me with youth group.  He is active in young life and attends church where he goes to school. 
There are so many wonderful youth in my youth program, each of them are bond to wonderful great things with the God given talents that they have.  Some of them may end up in ministry and a lot of them will not but every now and again a Philip comes along.  A youth that shows the passion and patients that are the two key traits of being in youth ministry.  Be on the lookout for your Philips in your programs.  He or she may not be easily spotted at first but watch for them.  As they grow and come into their own you will see them.  Make efforts to help them see if they are called into ministry.  Who knows, they may just end up taking your job, I know Philip is after mine!

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