I love student ministry. That’s something that a Youth pastor should say…right? Perhaps, but I can honestly say that that is where my heart is in ministry and in the church, and I know that that is what God wants me doing. I am not the most creative person in the world, nor am I the most interesting speaker either, but I can rely on my partner in this ministry and in life as well as our awesome leadership team for the creative stuff, and I try to stay out of the way and let the Lord push the words through me that He wants our students to hear whenever I’m on the stage in front of them.
How does all of this relate to community? In addition to leading our kids to be disciples of Jesus, the main thing that drives my passion for this ministry is to teach our Youth and show them the importance of community. I want them to feel community within Awaken. I want them to be a part of the community that is Journey Church. I want them to be a part of the student community of Chattanooga (which was so awesome to be able to begin doing this past summer with the kickball league on Sunday nights). I want our students to see just how important a part of Christ’s church that they are, and I want them to understand that they are vital to its future so long as the church still exists here on Earth before Jesus returns for His bride.
I share this so that hopefully you can hear the same message that we are sending to our students. We don’t do Youth group just for the sake of doing Youth group; too, we don’t “do church” just to be doing church. There is meaning. There is a purpose to it all. My hope for our students at Journey is not only that they experience community and enjoy for themselves, but also that they show the rest of us at Journey and even the church as a whole what community looks like and just how valuable it is. To do this, they must seek to give and to pour themselves into it. To place others ahead of themselves for the sake of the Kingdom. If we are to live and serve as a true Kingdom community as Journey Church, there is no alternative. We must all be willing to do the same. I hope that you’ll take the time this month and going forward to look at your own faith walk and ask yourself, “How can I be a servant and contributing member to our community?”