My Ministry Dreams for the Road Ahead
Ministry is organic. It is always growing, changing, and (if you are a hard-core conservative please do not terrorize me over my next word choice) evolving. This is especially true when you work with teenagers. Your entire audience can change from one year to the next, one month to the next, one week to the next. In fact, my audience changes almost daily. Our Sunday School crowd is almost entirely different from our Wednesday Night crowd, and is completely different from our Friday Night Crowd. I have even built relationships with students that are not involved with H20 in any formal capacity.
But as my time here in Corry continues on, I find that I have been given a few dreams for H20, and where we are headed as a ministry. Here are a few of the ones that God has really laid on my heart:
- I dream of students diving deeper – We have a great outreach ministry that invites teens in, shares the Gospel with them, and gives them caring adults who want to walk alongside them in life. This has led to Wednesday Night Live becoming almost overrun by students who are coming from an unchurched background (no less than 50% of students coming are from this worldview). I desire to see this continue, and to see those teens who have come this far to continue to grow, seeking ways to put God first in their lives each day.
- I dream of our churched students acting like they know God – Every church has a few teens who have been around the church their whole life, but don’t seem to be able to model a life devoted to God (every church has a lot of adults like that too). We have a handful, and I desire to see the Holy Spirit catch hold of them and burn them alive. In a good way. A fire that causes them to want to reach out to their friends with the Gospel. A fire that drives them to be a part of Friday Night Flood in order to come alongside other teens who are hurting. A fire that actually sets them apart from the rest of the teens here in Corry.
- I dream of H20 being an active force for Christ in our community – We have taken some small steps to impact the community (delivering Christmas cookies to a low-income area of town, shoveling sidewalks for the elderly, stacking wood for those who cannot do it physically, etc.). Now I desire to see our teens continue to craft creative ideas to be involved, to meet physical needs so that the soul can hear the Spiritual needs. The 30 Hour Famine is coming up soon. It would be great to find ways to make this last all year long…
- I dream of adults stepping into our students’ lives – This week our pastor offered some insights into why our church is apprehensive in some areas (worship specifically). Many in our congregation could very well be in bondage to lies that convince them they are not good enough, or have nothing to offer. I dream of God shattering the lies that convince them they are not good enough to work with teens, or that it is someone else’s job to work with teenagers. And those that are telling themselves lies that they don’t need to get their hands dirty with teens in our community? I pray that the Spirit convicts them and shows them the great need in our community for strong, God-fearing adults to get involved, no matter who the teenager is.
- I dream of fun – This is an odd dream for me. I normally look at fun as a secondary component of ministry (and it should be), but in all of these dreams, there is a lot of room for setback, disappointment, heartache and tears. I dream of things that are fun to help remind us of why we do this week in and week out.
- I dream of becoming a better Youth Pastor – I am not naive (or arrogant) enough to believe that I am without flaw, fault or weakness. I feel that I am an adequate Youth Pastor who has built some great bonds with teens, some solid relationships with adult leaders, and a fairly stable base to build a ministry off of (all with God’s hands doing the work, of course). But it is time to step up even more. I need to become better at some of my weaknesses, and build even more support in order to take our ministry to a higher level (we are at a bit of a plateau right now). I cannot do it alone here, and I need to bring more people alongside me to continue to grow.
There they are. Some of my dreams for my ministry this year. If you work with me, help us realize these dreams. If you do not work with me (and live to far away to do so), pray for us as we move forward. And if you don’t work with H20 and live close enough to, prayerfully consider plugging in. It will be so worth it.