I just had an interesting conversation with another “youth pastor.” (I use this term loosely for now) When I told him our ministry was based on discipleship and training others, (2 Tim 2:2) he said, “we don’t emphasize that here, they get Bible during Sunday school and church and we don’t want to over do it. We talk to them about life issues teenagers face.” God help our churches with this mentality!
Out of curiosity I asked how many youth he had attending while implementing this method. His reply was, THREE! It is a sad rebuke to us that we have the truth, the biblical method exemplified in Christ’s ministry and followed by the Apostle Paul, yet we think that we can do it better our way! The truth of the matter is that most of us are too lazy and full of self to think anyone else could help us in the ministry.
The goal, focus, heart’s desire, etc should be world evangelism. The plan for world evangelism is laid out for us throughout the Bible, and particularly in Matthew 28:18-20!
First of all realize; ALL POWER IS GIVEN TO CHRIST and not to you! Without the power of God in your life, you have no ministry.
Second, He told us to GO! Quit asking questions. Stop figuring. Stop trying to play it out in your brain. Simply obey! If you are not submissive and willing to GO, you cannot be used of God.
Third, Jesus told us to TEACH! Teach what? If they are not already saved, teach them the Gospel. Teach them that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:3,4) What does it profit a man if he gains a head full of knowledge and dies lost without the Lord?
Fourth, BAPTIZE. Once they are saved, have full assurance of their salvation, teach them to follow the Lord’s command to be Biblically baptized. It is the public profession of one’s faith in Christ and not a means to salvation! (A constantly repeated statement when dealing with young people)
And lastly, TEACH THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS. What are all things? Everything that Christ taught His disciples, teach to yours! How to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, how to have joy in your Christian life, how to overcome temptation, how to treat your family and friends, how to witness to others…HOW TO TEACH OTHERS ALSO!
I realize that there is still much training and learning ahead for me, but God help me if I ever stray from teaching the Bible, discipling others, and begin focussing on petty issues! There’s a saying, “the closer you get to the Son, the more the issues will melt away!” Teach them to fall in love with Jesus, and everything else will fall into place.