5 Practical Ways to Reach the Next Generation in Canada
Repeatedly, I have been asked: "what is your philosophy of youth ministry?". For me, I have always seen youth ministry as a city-wide youth ministry, not a church ministry or community ministry.
Honestly, I have based EVERYTHING I have done on John 3:16 simply because of what I experienced personally with Jesus. Let me unpack this:
Passion: "God so loved"
We cannot reach ANYONE unless we have passion. For me, passion remains "hot" because of what Christ has done for me. He loved me so much - even when I do not deserve His love or could attain His love - he died for me (Romans 5:8).
My question is, "how passionate are you about those who are far from God?" If you passion levels are low, here are some ways to build passion:
- Reflect on your personal story,
- Remember who God is to your personally,
- Read stories of others who have found God,
- Build relationships with those who are far from God
Passion is contagious. When you lead in passion, others will grab it.
Plan: "that He gave His only Son"
For God, His plan for the world (who was far from Him) was to send Jesus to redeem it. In the same way, do you have a plan that is intentional, strategic, and simple? For me, this included:
- Assessing the Needs in the Community,
- Having Church-wide Forums with students, parents, and leaders,
- Building a strategy around the needs in the community + church, and
- Aligning ministry and implementation according to the needs.
For me, the plan was to reach high school campuses, build a program where teens are confident to bring their friends, and offer an upper level discipleship journey for students to become ministry leaders.
People: "that whosoever shall believe in Him"
78% of people come to a youth ministry if they are invited by a friend. This happens for two reasons: 1) they are confident in their faith, and 2) they are confident in their youth ministry. For me, this was to develop a culture of evangelism. We did this by:
- Having outreach plans on campuses,
- Building great outreach events for teenagers to invite their friends,
- Getting teenagers to connect in small groups (to grow their faith),
- To join an upper level discipleship journey with the opportunity towards a Short-Term Missions experience, and
- Mentored for ministry.
Perseverance: "shall not perish"
Building a youth ministry that produces long lasting results takes time, hard work, and prayer. So many times I have felt discouraged or beaten up in ministry but I am so thankful that I didn't give up. Perseverance is:
- Thinking in view of eternity - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,
- Fruitfulness follows faithfulness - John 15:1-11,
- To choose to trust God over our feelings, fears, failures - Proverbs 3:5-6,
- To glorify God by working hard - Galatians 6:9.
Produce: "have everlasting life"
There is a sweet spot in ministry that produces results. When we are passionate for a lost world, have a plan (and stick to it), work alongside people in ministry for ministry, and persevere in our contexts, results happens.
Feel free to add to the conversation... what are some practical ways to reach the next generation in Canada?