The other woman spoke, “I love Jesus, but I hate Christians.” “Yea, they’re terrible,” the first woman agreed. They both chuckled a bit and continued on with their browsing, soon moving to another section of the store.
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In mid-December I received a call from Mags Storey and she introduced herself as a writer for the newspaper Christian Week. She wanted to do a write-up about the Soul Care Retreats. When I asked her why, she said they are unique in meeting the needs of youth workers across North America...
On May 5-6, there’s an excellent youth ministry conference taking place at Western Seminary in Holland, Michigan. It’s called “Sustainable Youth Ministry” and it’s designed to help youth pastors get to the thriving Promised Land.
It is so exciting to see so many young men and women passionately worshipping God with a desire to serve Him on their campus and in their churches. Experiencing all of this at the Passion Conference, I long for my youth back home to have this kind of passion for Christ
A socially missional church not only aims to protect the broken, it stands to prevent the issues. And it’s my belief that we haven’t done an overwhelmingly good job of preventing issues because we’ve been afraid to openly or honestly talk about them.
When I tell people in the CRC what I do for a living, I tend to get the same question in response: Why? And I get it. I recently took a position developing a new project for the denomination: LEAP. Does the CRC need another program to solve problems that are certainly not programmatic?
I’m not going to pretend like I can relate to you as a youth pastor. I don’t have kids yet, and I don’t have the level of commitments you do as parents. But how about this? I’m a pastor, and sometimes us pastors get so caught up in “doing God stuff” that we forget to “participate in God stuff.”
There’s no doubt about it. Many youth in this generation are leaving the church. But what if we looked at this as an opportunity instead of an outrage? What if it’s not the person of Jesus Christ that these students are running away from, but rather the claustrophobic nature of our churches’ four-walled worship?
The truth is, I don’t know what to tell them. I think “finding your identity in Christ” is a starting point, but the particulars of how that looks in everyday life are a very different story—which isn’t a very pretty, wrapped-with-a-bow answer to hand middle and high schoolers.
Youth Ministry has been messy. It’s a new focus in the life of a congregation, arising less than 150 years ago, gaining significant momentum in the last 50 years. Recent changes in culture are also redefining what it means to be youth pastors. So what is the way forward?
My name is Ron deVries, and I will be your next Youth Ministry guide. I am privileged to walk alongside incredibly gifted Youth Leaders from across Northern Alberta, and have engaged in conversations about youth ministry with passionate people in many corners of the denomination.