Youth Ministry Nugget #7: Build from the foundation up.
This nugget is also known as “Your students may not be ready for Piper if they don’t know who Noah is.” This generation of youth ministers has become fascinated with brilliant theologians. I know, I’m fascinated with them too. And I’m not saying don’t teach your kids deep theology. I’m just saying make sure they know the gospel. Just because you’ve heard a story a thousand times doesn’t mean they have. Sometimes we get so excited about what we’re learning that we fail to ask what our students need to learn. Beautiful roofs are awesome, but a good house needs a foundation too. I don’t want to see a generation of kids who can explain Christian hedonism, but when they hear about Abraham, they assume we mean Lincoln.
Youth Ministry Nugget #8: Lead by example.
Lead by example. It’s a fairly obvious idea, but it’s a little more complicated to put it in to practice. It means that whatever you’re asking your students to do, they should have some way to see it in your own life. They need to see your reading your Bible. They need to know that you pray. They need to hear the verses you are memorizing. That shows them the path you are walking down, and maybe helps them to walk it themselves. If you are asking them to live in community, in openness and honestly, then they need to see you do it as well. It doesn’t mean confessing every sin to your youth group, but it may mean that they meet your accountability partner. That your community group, discipleship group, comes to spend time with the students some time. I know, I know. When I was a youth minister, I didn’t have time to be in community, to add another group to my week. But if I’m asking them to do it, I need to, too.