I’ve only been in this industry for a mere three years. But those of us who work here can quickly understand how much will change in three years. In fact, I often share with people that the turn over of my high school program is four years: a statistic not often considered by those who aren’t encompassed in the work.
In these short three years, I’ve discovered something youth love to do: work. Maybe it’s the town I serve in, but I’m continually humbled by a generation that seeks "hands on" work. For years, students have been provided with hand outs and information. Since elementary, students were sent with homework to complete on their own clocks, and return with a product of right and wrong.
But homework, though complimentary to education and formation of students, doesn’t always translate to "hands on" for students. I remember despising geometry class, wondering “How does this translate to real life?” And hidden behind that very question is a yearning in which I believe all students are seeking to answer or understand: tangible applications for life. I believe that this generation is craving "hands on" work, aching with a desire to serve.
Our youth program spends two weeks a month out in the community, giving back through service projects, community projects, visiting elderly homes, or inviting others into our space. And through these tangible mission projects, students are growing, asking questions, wrestling with the meaning and purpose of faith in action.
We are grateful enough to have a God who’s grace covers our sin, a God who did all the work for us. But that same God also calls us to action, to respond to his grace, to make believers of shapes, sizes, and races. That same God is still at work, filling our ministries with innovative ways of shaping our students, preparing them with the tools of a future generation. This is just one of those ways.
- How do you feel about an action based youth ministry?
- Do you feel that students are hungry for action?
- Do you have other innovating ways which your students have responded well to?