Reflections on recent Kingsview Youth Group events.
Many people think that youth groups are a glorified version of baby-sitting, really. And in some cases that may be true; sad, but true. It’s sad, because ministering to young people is an amazing experience; immensely challenging and immensely rewarding.
Now I know that not everyone is called to youth ministry. But for those that are, it’s a great privilege to share life and faith with young people. Here are just a few of the things I love about young people.
I love the honesty with which most teenagers ask questions.
I love the struggle young people undertake to figure out their beliefs and values that are shared and independent of their family.
I love that youth (and young adults) are still young enough to want to play and have fun, but mature enough to have meaningful discussions about things in life that matter.
I love the questions they ask about Jesus, Scripture and the church.
And I love asking them questions about Scripture, too!
Studying Scripture together is a central part of the youth ministry at Kingsview. Every youth event includes bible teaching and discussion.
We’re focused on the following teaching themes this year (and last):
- The Bible (history, authority, different parts, etc.)
- God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
- Sin (what it is, fallen human nature, etc.)
- The Good News
- The Armor of God
- Dating, Sex & Relationships
- Lifestyle Choices (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.)
Different youth leaders have the chance to teach and lead discussion groups, so young people hear from a variety of committed Christian adult voices.
The more important influence in the lives of teenagers, however, is not youth leaders, but their parents.
Research done by Canadian sociologist, Dr. Reginald Bibby indicates that parents remain among the top influences in the lives of youth in Canada. They are currently enjoying the best relationship with their teenagers, compared to the past several decades (www.reginaldbibby.com).
As youth leaders, we want to support parents as we engage their kids. We know that parents appreciate that biblical values are modeled and taught at youth group.
Of course, it’s still youth group, so we have lots of fun events, activities & games! And a few games of Whirlyball or Lasertag go a long way to making youth group the place to be.