Spiritual Decisions That Last a Lifetime Part 1

BY Barefoot Ministries

May 17, 2012

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Why don’t the spiritual decisions that our students make last for a lifetime?

This is a very difficult question with a complicated answer. A part of the answer is the thinking and ministry practices of youth pastors and youth workers. Let me share with you three driving thoughts of youth workers that affects the decisions teenagers make.

Desire Job Security

We as youth pastors and youth workers must shoulder much of the blame. Let’s face it, many of us don’t have the job security that we need to work in complete freedom. Depending on our context, we use well-worn approaches to draw a desired response from our students. Then we spend little time for follow-up, and we end up praying and hoping our new Christian students “get it”. If your ministry is caught in this cycle, step back and develop a long-term comprehensive plan to both see a student come to Christ and to disciple that student to maturity in Christ.

Desire to Be a Success

Secondly, the pressure that we feel to produce “plugged-in kids” (and thus be “successful” in our ministry) leads to questionable methods of recruitment and evangelism. We think that we can present the truth of the gospel to students in ten minutes at a big rally, a lock-in, or in one of our services, convince them to pray a pre-written prayer, and congratulate them on their decision. We follow up (if we follow up at all) by giving them a new believer’s booklet and having them announce their decision to the church. We introduce them to our leadership as “having prayed the prayer” and everyone slaps our back for the fine job we’re doing.

Desire for Meaning

I can testify from experience how discouraging it can be to feel like your ministry doesn’t make an impact at all. In order to speed up the process, we can be tempted to cut a few corners. Often, the gospel we present has been cheapened of its power because we eliminate the necessity of turning from our way of life in order to follow a Kingdom way of life. Most often our presentation of the gospel requires nothing more from the students than a short prayer or a name signed on a dotted line. If we do not lead our students to see their desperate need for Christ, how can we say that they have had a conversion experience?

Regardless of our ministry setting, we should all have a burning desire to see our teenagers “get it”. We long to see them embrace Christ, commit their lives to Him, grow in faith, and serve Him for a lifetime.

 

Photo credit:{Salt of the Earth}


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