Youth Ministry: Engaging Youth in Religion

Topics: Youth, Jesus, Young Pages: 5 (1645 words) Published: April 15, 2014
Youth Ministry

“Train children in the right way and when old, they will not stray.” These are words which we often here from our parents, grandparents and ministers, and most likely have memorized, since we were young. As youth and teenagers these words probably seemed easy enough for our parents and later for ourselves to fulfill; but the more mature we became, the more we realized what a gigantic task, “to train children in the right way” is. The Lord has entrusted to us; whether we are parents, grandparents, ministers, teachers, etc., a large task. We should feel honored by the trust which we have been given, and therefore need to take the task as it is a matter of life or death. Hence the purpose of this paper is to identify how we as Christian Educators can fulfill this task through Youth ministry and how we can lure the youth in to participating and focusing on what we are trying to teach them. For Youth ministry’s future will be determined largely by the choices and timing of decisions that we make today. However, before I can elaborate on fulfilling this important task, we must first define Youth Ministry is and its purpose. Youth ministry, also commonly referred to as Youth group, is an age-specific religious ministry and is the way in which a faith group, or other religious organization involves and engages with the young people who attend its place of worship, or live in its community. Christian community use Youth ministry to reach out to the youth with the love of God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. It helps youth and their families adapt the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ so that they may develop a deeper committed relationship with Him. It also works to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person and seeks to draw young people into responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the faith community. It is therefore the Church's efforts to help each and every young person grow personally and spiritually. However, how are we to help the Youth when according to Anthony, “Youth Ministry is undergoing growing pains?” When it comes to youth ministry in particular it is important to understand that both the youth leader or educator and young adolescent are both on a journey to discover Jesus Christ. The activities we have them do should provide tools for youth to open up, expand and build their faith. It should also challenge and encourage them to commit their lives to Christ. We are living in a world of never ending changes, therefore everyday and every hour brings sudden changes. Change is never easy and it is rarely fun, but there are steps we can take to ease the pain of a complete paradigm shift or, even, just slight adjustments to our current strategy. All churches under the umbrella of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa have Youth groups. These Youth groups are usually being lead by the minister and one of the lay preachers. They are usually organized by the adults and seldom by the youth. Because adults think their decisions are best for the youth. However, the youth and their ideas must be accepted as having worth. By doing so, they will feel appreciated and important to the Youth and the Congregation as well. We must make them feel comfortable by letting them lead the group and trust them and let them make the decisions within the group and how it is to be organized. There should be less adult intrusion and participation but more youth response and ideas. In my youth years adults tended to overrule our thoughts by taking over the floor during fellowships. But they do not realize that, when wonder is opening up a new world to young spirits, adults must learn when not to intrude. Youth ministry should always be fun and interesting. In these cases Christian educators should prepare at all times and be creative with their teaching style to grasp the interest of the Youth otherwise we will...

Bibliography: Anthony, Michael J. Introducing Christian Education: Foundations for the Twenty-first Century,
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001
Anti Essays. Youth ministry, accessed on October 10th, 2012.
Bowman, Clarice M. Ways Youth Learn, New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1952.
Douty, Mary Alice. How to work with Church Groups, New York, Nashville: Abingdon Press,
Fields, Doug. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing
House, 1998.
St. Bernard, Youth Ministry and Religious Education, accessed on October 15th, 2012.
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