As I shared last week, we have transitioned out of leading Youth at our church. To many people that don’t know our story, this might seem like we are no longer involved with Youth or that we are no longer even interested. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Youth Ministry is not just about being the Youth Pastor.
It’s so easy to believe that the only significant way to impact students is to be the Youth Pastor. They’re the ‘face’ of the Youth ministry (as in the main person you’ll see representing Youth). When you only see this one role, it’s easy to believe that it’s the only one. But there is so much more to Youth Ministry than what is ‘seen’.
The behind-the-scenes roles are so so so important in (any) ministry. Those that work in the background enable those in the front to do their job well and know that things are taken care of. They help carry the load. They are crucial to a healthy ministry.
Youth ministry is:
- Ministering to even just one kid, week in and week out
- Driving for a Youth event
- Picking up and dropping off students each week
- Being camp cook
- Supporting the youth ministry from your own pocket
- Vacuuming at the end of each Youth night
- Doing dishes
- Supplying food for snacks or cafe time
- Supplying a meal for youth leaders or volunteers
- Being a small group leader
- Listening to students
- Listening to parents
- Praying and interceding regularly for the Youth Ministry
- Praying for students at Youth
- Mentoring the Youth Pastor
- Mentoring students
- Encouraging and supporting parents
- Leading a Bible study
- Making a student laugh
- Making a parent laugh
- Thanking volunteers
- Sponsoring a student to go to camp, conference, or missions
- Reaching out to students who have been absent for a few weeks
- Sending a birthday card to students
- Leading worship
- Leading a D Group
- Going to students’ recitals or sports games
- Doing background research of scriptures for those preaching
- Going early to set up
- Staying late to pack down
- Running errands for the Youth pastor
- One-on-one discipleship
It’s simply showing up.
It might not feel like you do much, but it truly does matter. By simply showing up you are building trust and giving someone a place to belong. And belonging is all part of why we do ministry.
Friends- if you are feeling discouraged, unseen, unappreciated, please know that what you do matters. It is seen by God, and it is LIFE CHANGING for your students.
“God doesn’t require attention-getting devices. He won’t overlook what you are doing; he’ll reward you well.” – Matthew 6:18 (MSG)
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” – Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)
We are no longer the ‘face’ of Youth, but that doesn’t mean we’re no longer in Youth Ministry. Even if all we do is turn up at the end of the night to vacuum, it takes that ‘weight’ off the new Youth Pastor. They can use the extra time to connect with other students and give them a place to belong, without worrying about cutting that short to clean up and be out of the building on time. That connection time is significant and life changing, therefore vacuuming is significant!
- What is your role in Youth Ministry? What significant moments have you seen come from it?
- Who is someone in your church that is involved in ministry behind-the-scenes that you can encourage this week?