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Let’s Define Some Things!

 —  May 16, 2014 — 4 Comments

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I received this text the other day from a friend: “Age old question….what’s your cleanest definition of discipleship?”

My quick text back: “Intentionally helping people walk with Jesus.”

Now, I don’t think that’s the best definition of discipleship. Heck, I’m not even sure it’s my best definition of discipleship. And this got me thinking about the fact that there are a fair number of words/phrases that we use in our youth ministry world that refuse to be bound to a simple, clean definition. So for fun, let’s define some of these together to see how similar/how far apart the youth worker nation is on these terms. No right or wrong answers…but maybe some fun “debate”. Pick one…or all….of the words/phrases below and give your best, short(ish) definition in the comments!

- DISCIPLESHIP

- MISSIONAL

- ATTRACTIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY

- MINISTRY VALUES

- MISSION STATEMENT

- PURPOSE STATEMENT

- SOCIAL JUSTICE

- THE GOSPEL

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston

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Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

4 responses to Let’s Define Some Things!

  1. - DISCIPLESHIP
    Teaching others what it means to be like Jesus

    - MISSIONAL
    Have a sense that all of use are to be missionaries to the world around us

    - ATTRACTIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY
    Using events, food, etc to bring Students in for the first time
    (the issue is you have to keep on doing that to keep them as well)

    - MINISTRY VALUES
    Definition of your ministry

    - MISSION STATEMENT
    How do I get to where I want to be?

    - PURPOSE STATEMENT
    Definition of my purpose, and why am I here

    - SOCIAL JUSTICE
    Helping others, who are in need

    - THE GOSPEL
    Good News

  2. - DISCIPLESHIP
    Discipleship is helping others be full followers of Jesus.

    - MISSIONAL
    Missional is taking the gospel into the culture around you.

    - ATTRACTIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY
    Attractional youth ministry does YM in such a way as to bring students into the church.

    - MINISTRY VALUES
    Ministry values are the basic principles that are most important to the way the ministry operates.

    - MISSION STATEMENT
    A Mission Statement is a concise statement that lists your primary focus.

    - PURPOSE STATEMENT
    A Purpose Statement is the same as a mission statement.

    - SOCIAL JUSTICE
    Social justice is fulfilling a strong need in the culture around you.

    - THE GOSPEL
    The gospel is the good news that Jesus can save us from ourselves.

  3. My attempt…
    - DISCIPLESHIP
    Teaching how to be a Christian. (“Be” in an ongoing, everyday sense, as opposed to “becoming” and leaving it at that.)

    - MISSIONAL
    Working towards bringing the gospel to the unsaved.

    - ATTRACTIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY
    Attempting to reach youth through programs that are so amazing they cannot help but come.

    - MINISTRY VALUES
    Philosophical ideals that influence how one does ministry.

    - MISSION STATEMENT
    - PURPOSE STATEMENT
    Both of these refer to essentially the same thing: a concise, understandable statement of what an organization believes they are trying to do. (Unfortunately, the conciseness is often lost, the understandability often beclouded, and the organization’s actual behavior often has little to do with what it thinks it’s trying to do!)

    - SOCIAL JUSTICE
    Supporting the cause of those who cannot defend themselves.

    - THE GOSPEL
    Literally, the good news: God, out of His incomprehensible love, sent His Son to undeservedly die so that us sinners, who righteously deserve the damnation of hell, may instead be adopted as His sons.

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