In a meeting with representatives from the Conference Committee on Youth Ministries (CCYM), Jason Villegas, the Conference Director of Youth Ministries led a devotion from John 3 and asked some questions.
After the devotion, the conversation was about values. The questions were, “What are the values of youth ministry here?” and “Where might those values need to shift?”
Here are bullet points of some of the values, reflecting ways that some of the values have shifted over time:
- Acceptance of youth: Come as they are. i.e., non-judgmentalism when youth don’t make it. Acceptance of asking questions.
- Consistency: showing up for them at predictable and ongoing times.
- Being present emotionally: difficult when youth have emotional removal from others when they are vulnerable.
- Individual Connection and personal relationships (as the greatest key to youth ministry).
- Move towards family ministry: equip, empower, and encourage parents to be the main disciplers in their families. (whereas youth have been years without Scripture in the Pandemic, and parents are mortified [literally, to come to terms with your mortality and keep at bay the flesh] at discipling their children). Working with the families to dream up a time when they can be together — read Scripture, pray and worship, and serve together.
- Move beyond the attractional programming of the 1980s (like shooting a middle schooler out of a trebuchet) when youth had all of this free time.
- Getting out of the building and in the community a lot of the week, doing what the youth are and where they are.
If you are in youth ministry, either as a youth or adult, we invite you to respond to these questions, which will go to Jason.