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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 25 (Thurs, 10/5)


We had a final meting with the teens tonight at the YMCA to hang out and play in the gym. When they came a girl was eating a ham sandwich so we were all having fun with the unclean thing. Five of the teens came the night of the clean/unclean discussion and they learned pork was unclean so they were making fun of her. We talked for a while about different stuff then went to the gym to play for a few hours. We had a really good time.

Two things were said that I think are extremely important for us to consider, especially with youth ministry.

We told them that we were leaving this weekend and they were shocked and thought we were joking. When they finally believe us one of them said, “How can you come into our lives just to leave and abandon us?” This is a really important concept to remember with youth ministry. Good youth ministry requires a long time commitment to where they will have time to fully embrace and trust you and know you aren’t going to abandon them soon. We only touched the tip of the iceberg with them but I think they really liked us and looked forward to hanging out on a regular basis. However, we told them that at the beginning of the meeting and we didn’t really have a good discussion and I think they didn’t want to bother since we were leaving soon. I think there is a bit of this sentiment with adults too and the idea of “blitzing” the city and bringing in outside people for a month isn’t really healthy for the visitors and new members because they can get attached to you and not the church members who are sticking around.

One of the girls who is 15 brought her boyfriend so we asked her why she felt the need for a boyfriend. She said, “Not all of us get love at home from our family.” There are a lot of teens like this and our churches need to be a place where they get love and have “parents” and mentors who help those with tough family situations. Many times a youth leader ends up being the parent the kids wish they had and play a key role in their development.


Anonymous said…
Wow - that is a brilliant post.
Anonymous said…
You discussion about coming into peoples' lives and then leaving in a short time is right on! This is the major problem with our received evangelistic strategy. There is good evidence it is just as destructive with adults; they are just not open enough to say what that teen told you.

One key question: With the pervasive access that teens have to the Internet today and IM, why did you have no instinct to tell them they could keep the relationship with you alive via those means?
trevan said…
Well, we tried to connect them with younger local church members. We know we'll probably never be with them in person again so we wanted to connect them with those who would.

You're right though, we probably should have done more to keep things going more long-term. I know their big thing is text messaging so that would be the key avenue.

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