Our church just finished up the Advent Conspiracy series before Christmas with a focus on the gift of presence. Being with people, spending time with them, investing in their lives. Throughout the series people were reminded of the reality that being present in others lives is true ministry. I loved that this realization is reinforced every week in youth ministry!
Is youth ministry really anything more than being present in the lives of teenagers? Teenagers might come once or twice because of your flashy program, awesome worship band or cool new video games but they keep coming back because you or one of the leaders in your ministry become a presence in their lives. Think about why you’re in youth ministry. I would bet my substantial public school teacher salary that you’re in youth ministry because someone was present in your life at some point. More than likely that point was while you were in junior or senior high and their presence made an eternal difference in your soul.
Youth ministry, at its core, is being present in the lives of teenagers. Going to their events, having lunch with them, taking them with you while running errands. It’s listening to their hurts, fears, dreams, questions and ramblings. By all means, continue to be creative. Plan great events. Strive for excellence in your programs. Don’t ever forget, though, that youth ministry is about presence. It’s about being a presence in a student’s life because of Jesus’ presence in yours.
Buz is a special education teacher who passionately loves his ladies (wife and 2 daughters). They live in Spokane, Washington and you can check out his blog right here.