Working With Young People

January 25, 2013

Working With Young People

            Why do we dedicate so much hard work and time to youth ministry?  Is it worthwhile? Yes, it certainly is.  This article points out some of the reasons why it’s important to be occupied in working with young people.

  • Young people need to be reached with the gospel.  When they get older it’s more unlikely that they will accept Christ as their Savior.  Even if they are reached later, they will have sins and bad habits that are more deeply rooted and more difficult to get victory over.  Also, when young people are saved, they have more time ahead of them to be useful servants of God.

 

  • Teenage years are difficult.  Young people find themselves in a time of transition.  They are no longer children; neither are they adults.  They face conflicts.  Some may want to turn back and be a child again.  Sometimes they want liberty to live as an adult even though they aren’t ready for it.  At times adults treat them as children, but they give them responsibilities they aren’t prepared for.  In the church we need to help them through these conflicts.  We need to make ourselves available to them so they can come to us for advice.

 

  • Young people can be a great help in the church.  It is sometimes said that they are the future of the church.  True, they will be the future leaders of the church.  They are an important part of the church.  Many times they are more willing, and have more enthusiasm than some of the older members.  It isn’t wise to make them wait until they are adults before they can have a part in the ministry of the church.  It’s good to find things they can do.  Here are some suggestians:

 

  1. They can be a great help in the children’s ministry.
  2. They can sing in a youth choir or special numbers
  3. Some churches give the more mature young people the opportunity to conduct the evening service on occasion.  It should be with adult supervision.

 

  • Young people are making decisions that will have an impact on their lives.  Many times they aren’t mature enough to make wise decisions.  If they know you love them, they may seek your advice.  You, the pastor and youth leader, need to convince them that you truly care about their wellbeing and want the best for them.  They need to be warned about the bad advice they may get from people in the world.

 

  • Young people need to be given the training and fortitude to resist the false teaching they often receive in public schools.  Their faith is often undermined by the teaching of the theory of evolution.  The web site answersingenesis.org has some excellent educational material to counteract the evolutionary theory.  Young people are also taught the theory of humanism that says we can solve all our problems without the help of God.  Just taking into account the serious moral and emotional problems we have in society should be sufficient to reveal the folly of the teaching of humanism.

 

  • Young people need to be encouraged to surrender their lives to the Lord and be willing to do his will. It’s not for us to try to make pastors and missionaries out of them.  God has a special plan for each young person that has accepted Christ as his Savior.  We can’t tell them what that plan is, but God will reveal it to them if they surrender their lives to him, and seek his will.  For some, his will may be that they be truck drivers, or doctors, or school teachers or nurses.  He may call some into the full time ministry.  For all of them, it’s his will that they be a testimony and witness for him.  Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
  • There are many heart aches and disappointments in youth work.  It takes much patience.  We aren’t perfect and we are working with imperfect young people.  We learn to love them.  We invest part of our lives in them.  It hurts when some reject the good advice we gave them.  They go off into sin and their lives are ruined.  We know they will pay dearly for it.  The up side of working with young people is that some will go on faithfully.  They are our pride and joy because we have invested something in their lives.
  • You, as the pastor or youth leader, need the support of the parents of the young people.  It might be advisable to invite the parents to meet with you sometime without the young people present.  At that meeting you can explain what your goals are and seek to gain their confidence.  This may encourage them to support you when you give advice to their children that they may not want to accept.  You also need the support of others in the church.  At times you may plan activities and need financial support from others in the church.  You may also occasionally need for others to transport young people to special activities in their cars.  Let others know how much you appreciate their help.
  • Don’t give up on young people.  They need you and the church needs them.  They are facing some overwhelming challenges in the day in which we live. They need the help that you can give them.
  • Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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