Tye's PHILOSOPHY OF YOUTH MINISTRY
Purpose Statement: The purpose of this ministry here at Rocketdyne Rd. Church of Christ is to support parents in the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social development of their children so that they will be equipped to wholeheartedly serve God and share this love with others.
I. The Goal of Youth Ministry
The ultimate goal of this youth ministry is “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:12-13), “teaching true and reliable words so that they can give sound answers” (Pr 22:21a) when the world asks them what and why they believe. In order to accomplish this goal, I will need help and support from many in the congregation (especially parents) to lead the youth as examples and mentors, so they will be loved and understand their importance in the kingdom of God.
II. Family-Based Youth Ministry
I firmly understand that the most important people in the accomplishing of this goal are the parents of the youth. It is their God-given responsibility and privilege to pass on a love for God and obedience to His word (Deut. 6:1-25). Recognizing the great importance of family, the purpose of this youth ministry is to support and aid parents in understanding the spiritual and emotional needs of youth and helping them become better examples as they pass on their love of God to their children.
III. A Balanced Youth Ministry
An effective youth ministry must be a balanced youth ministry. It seeks to meet the varied needs of youth by ministering to their physical, spiritual, social, intellectual, and emotional needs. To do this I will strive “to become all things to the youth so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Co. 9:22b) because I understand that personalities and needs vary greatly between people. But, because of my own personality, I will never be able to completely bond with all the youth. Because of this need, it is imperative that many others of the congregation be involved in the youth ministry.
Also in striving to accomplish the goal of providing a balanced youth ministry, programs will be offered in the areas of study, socials, service, prayer groups, etc. in order to fully meet the youth’s variety of needs. Care will be given to incorporate these programs with the schedules of the youth, as to not over-burden. I will also teach in many different styles in order to meet the learning needs of each youth.
IV. The Word of God in Youth Ministry
Because the Word of God is truth and brings about conviction and faith in the lives of people (2 Sam 22:31; Ps. 119:9-11,105; Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-16; Heb. 4:12-13), emphasis will be given on providing a variety of classes and studies where the youth will be exposed to the Word of God in creative and sound ways that teach proper principles of biblical interpretation so that they can study and learn on their own.
V. The Overall Church Program and Youth Ministry
The youth ministry program must supplement and compliment the overall goals of the church at Rocketdyne Rd. Youth ministry must not be done in isolation but in connection with the larger body of Christ. The overall goals of the church should not be man-made goals, but the goals of Christ for His body. These are revealed through the study of God’s Word.
VI. The Spiritual Life of the Youth Minister
In order to properly oversee and contribute to an effective youth ministry, I must take care and nurture my own spiritual life (with much help and encouragement from others of course). “To attempt to lead a person spiritually while at the same time neglecting one’s own spiritual life would be a travesty. Any leader who fails to take nourishment daily from the Word of God will most certainly degenerate into a voice from a vacuum.” Personal purity must always be the standard and the goal for me (and I expect you to hold me accountable to this). You cannot exert a godly influence on others if you yourself are not godly. This is very important for anyone who seeks to help in this ministry (this is for all parents and other youth workers).
VII. A Commitment to Youth Ministry
A proper philosophy of youth ministry accurately vocalizes the belief that youth ministry is exactly that – a ministry. It is not glorified baby-sitting, recreational programming, or fun and games. What it is is an enormous concern with the spiritual welfare and development of the youth (Ezek. 34:1-16). As such, I do not see youth ministry as a “stepping stone” to greater and more important ministries. I am committed to persevere to the task which God has called me to, as long as I feel that it is God’s will for me. I realize that I cannot spend only one hour a week with the youth on Sunday mornings. It will cost an investment of time, and I plan to be there as much as possible (even if awakened in the middle of the night). The motivation for being in youth ministry must always come from the love of God.