There's a delicate mix in youth ministries usually. You want to reach out especially to teens who are lacking in positive, especially God-centered, community. But you also want to serve the families of the church, many of whom have children who have grown up in such a community.
You have 12 year old boys who still don't shower much, and think that girls have cooties. You have 13 year old girls who know all 10 commandments, and can name the 4 gospels.
You also have young men closing in on 18, smelling of substances, who have little to no understanding of how to even "allow" a community like this to love and support them. You have young women who are grasping for an identity in how they look, and think "manly" guys have ill reputations.
You divide up, Junior and Senior High, male and female, as possible. We definitely need to do that more often, and I'm hoping God continues to bless us with volunteers to make that possible. Although you could switch the ages above, and still notice the same qualities.
In our church, the balance is constantly shifting. We have Sunday morning "sunday school" for our Youth Bible studies. We have Sunday evening "supper club" for our core, to deepen community in those who we hope/pray will come back Wednesday night to add their flavor to the atmosphere. Then we have Wednesday night - a conglomeration of those who come on Sunday, with a much larger group that only come this night. Many have no parental/familial connection to the church yet. I continue to be stunned by some that still come.
But they do come.
I know the balance in our group probably frightens/turns away some Sunday families from involvement on Wednesday. I hope and pray that as their strength/community builds with each other on Sunday, they would feel more and more comfortable coming as living testimonies on Wednesday night, drawing others to participate in more than the Wed. night crowd.
I guess this was just a random post to remind the world, I'm a youth pastor.
I love this job. :)
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