504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Monday, April 11, 2011

On Legacy in Youth Ministry

I appreciate my brothers and sisters in ministry that are part of the Metro Youth Ministers group. We are all somehow connected with churches that are some of the larger ones in our country. We are diverse--older guys, younger guys--we have had ladies as well and we are drawn together by a desire to make Jesus famous and better minister to students in the process. I was honored to be asked to speak for part of a session which I shared with my dear friend in ministry, Victor Flores.

I reflected on the legacy that we leave. 2 Timothy is in my mind Paul's "legacy" letter and in the third chapter, he reminds his young protege,

2 Tim 3:14-17
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (NASB)

What a reminder! Continue on! You have learned some things, experienced some things, you have breathed Scripture. Now pass them on to the faithful men and others of 2:2. Leave a legacy, a clearly marked trail for others to follow. These Metro guys are leaving legacies. They are thinking strategically about reaching and discipling students, but also in creating environments where students are challenged and sent to do significant things (as Victor said, "as arrows, shot from a bow drawn back with prayer").

I shared with them some lists. I just finished reading, Brown Like Coffee by the list guy, a great read for a college student or someone who works with college students. I am going to mail it to my Florida State Seminole daughter tomorrow. In the spirit of thinking about lists, I had a few to share with the Metro guys. Please share your comments on these--add, subtract, reflect...

Five Not So Good Youth Ministry Ideas
  1. Magician's flash paper as an illustration. I lost my eyebrows, but it seemed like a good idea at the time
  2. The game, "Needle in the Haystack" from Ideas #1. With apologies to Wayne Rice and Mike Yaconelli, the time has passed when we encourage students to dig through a pile of hay to "discover" sharp objects.
  3. The Hot Seat (also from Ideas). Mild electric shock from a 6-volt battery through a Model T Coil and a wooden stool (or better yet a 12-volt and a metal stool)--maybe not so much.
  4. A snafu in communication that led a church secretary to publicize the "Discipline Now" weekend. Big turnout to get in trouble...
  5. Big Wheel Races on the tile hall that makes rectangle around the large group rooms in the education building. Small group room doors (hollow core) which are on the perimeter of the building were vulnerable to the NASCAR "three across" strategy.
Five Great Youth Ministry Ideas
  1. A constant missions mentality. Every small group, always thinking about the current missions project.
  2. Fashion show. I heard that the girls ministry at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Tx. did a fashion show to model how girls can dress modestly, attractively, and affordably.
  3. Scripture memory as an ongoing value in youth ministry. The Word does not return void.
  4. Discipleship that is intentional in building a partnership between students, parents, friends, and youth workers.
  5. Youth Sunday. Oldie but goodie. Students take responsibility for every adult position in the church (except ministry to really little humans), on one Sunday of the year. Opportunity for responsibility and building intergenerational relationships.
Seven Important Books (Hall of Fame list)
  1. Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson
  2. The Lost Art of Disciplemaking, LeRoy Eims
  3. Communicating for a Change, Andy Stanley
  4. Christian Counterculture, John Stott. His commentary on the Sermon on the Mount
  5. April 1865, David McCullough
  6. Love is a Decision, Gary Smalley and John Trent
  7. I Once Was Lost, Don Everts and Doug Schaupp
Five Current Books I Have Read Recently
  1. Our Iceberg is Melting, John Kotter
  2. The Reason for God, Tim Keller
  3. Generation IY, Tim Elmore
  4. Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites and Other Lies You've Been Told, Bradley Wright
  5. The Baseball Codes, Jason Turbow
Six Important Youth Ministry Books
  1. Your First Two Years, Doug Fields
  2. Youth Culture 101, Walt Mueller
  3. Youth Ministry Management Tools, Ginny Olsen and Mike Work
  4. TEACH, Allen Jackson
  5. rethink, Steven Wright
  6. Youth Ministry and the Supremacy of Christ, Richard Ross
Five Great Scripture Passages
  1. Jeremiah 29:10-11 (God is talking about patience, not prosperity)
  2. Deuteronomy 6 and following. Also Joshua 3 and following ("when your son asks, tell him")
  3. Philippians 2:1-11 (the Christ Hymn)
  4. Psalm 24 ("Are we ready for worship? Who is this King of Glory?")
  5. Matthew 5, "you have heard it said" (Jesus is changing all the priorities)
Seven Words of Advice for Youth Ministers
  1. Never quit reading and studying.
  2. Preach and get good at it.
  3. Have adventures with your spouse and children.
  4. Believe in your call.
  5. Make friends among youth ministers. Network.
  6. This too shall pass.
  7. There are no guarantees when raising your own children, even if you can check all the boxes saying that you tried to do it right. Children choose.


  1. You are a wise man and they chose wisely to have you speak to them. Sorry I will miss you there. I head that way tomorrow.

  2. Under Five Great Youth Ministry Ideas:
    6. Marry well. :)