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There once was an Agnostic, an Atheist, and a Christian. 

No, that's not the beginning of a bad joke, it's a summary of some of the greatest friends I've had the privilege of ever knowing. I, of course, am the Christian and was sitting down with these two highly respected spectacles of mine, and I get asked a brilliant question. In the room was also a nurse, and we got caught on the subject of "healing" and more specifically "saving people."

If you know anything about Christianity, this has been a favorite phrase of ours for centuries, and the question floated up like a dead fish at sea, tossed lifelessly to the waves: "Is that what you believe you actually do? Do you think of yourself as a 'Saver of people.'"

Believe it or not, I quite enjoyed the question. The simple and selfish Christian answer is probably yes to that question. But I believe the real answer is "no." An absolute "No!" I've never saved a single person in my life. Jesus has, but I haven't. But the question was deeper than saving. The question asked me for purpose, and I realized that I'm here to make better versions of people. Better versions of youth than those without Jesus. Better versions of young adults than those without Jesus. Better versions of working attitudes than those without Jesus.

It's a Reformed belief that "There is not one square inch in the whole dominion of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, 'Mine!'" (Kuyper). And it's this very idea that captures our goal as youth pastors. Sure, we're inviting people (saving them) into this ongoing creation story, but it's more than saving people. 

{Youth} Ministry is providing opportunity to the hopeless.
{Youth} Ministry is meant to provide better ambassadors for the poor and underprivileged.
{Youth} Ministry presents intentionality to a fickle, fleeing, and frightened generation (that’s me too).
{Youth} Ministry drinks from the well of Goodness, and offers a cup of betterness. 

So {youth} pastors, get your heads up. Maybe you serve 100 kids, 3,000 kids, or 4 kids. No matter what the figure, we all equate to the kingdom of God, bringing the opportunities of better in a world that leans more toward the cheaper and lower quality.

There are no questions about this.

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