beyond the gimmicks

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I live in an area with a multitude of church choices. We have almost every variety. We are a rural/city smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. I think we could pass sometimes as the belt buckle.

Our youth group isn’t the largest in town or in our county for that matter. We don’t have the biggest budget or do even the coolest, latest things. I guess I would peg us as middle of the road. I am in many ways a middle of the road kind of guy. I am not overly creative, so I don’t have a fancy youth logo. I am not all that tech-savy so we don’t have cool youth mininstry videos. I am not even that good of a speaker so our attendance is sporadic.

I am sure like many of you, my teens are typcial American teens. And from time to time they go to their friends “churches.” I guess I am confessing. I get a little jealous when our kids aren’t around. I even get to feeling like our youth ministry is boring when our kids tell me what church so and so is doing.

I know in those moments, when I am judging the effectiveness of our ministry on numbers and gimmicks I am looking at the wrong thing. I have allowed the emphasis to fall on numbers and not Christ. In those moments, and I think all youth ministers wrestle with these times, we have to reorient our vision to what God is doing in the world and seeing our selves as partners with Him to further his kingdom. Numbers, cool events and the latest gimmicks aren’t changing the world. Teaching students about their role in the body and life in the kingdom is. Having them catch a sense that they too can partner with what God is doing in the world is.

So, for all of us who sometimes worry about whether or not we are making a difference for the kingdom. Be reassured our impact on just one life is impacting the lives of countless others. Even though we can’t see it, we are changing the world for the good. Even us youth ministers with youth ministries that are mundane and ordinary.

2 Responses to “beyond the gimmicks”

  1. Anonymous Brian 

    Very well put Jason.

    Equipping students to live in a kingdom focused way is anything but mundane and ordinary. Seeing students really "get it" and connect with God and begin to live their lives in a way that changes the world is far more exciting than all the bells, whistles, and gimmicks that exist out there.

    Keep doing what you are doing!

  2. Anonymous jidomassonik 

    "She was one of the judges of my cheerleading experience when I was in the eighth grade," Hill testified. Asked whether they were friends, Hill said no, but "I would see her and her then-boyfriend ... walk around school together because he was in football and she was a cheerleader or letter girl, something like that."

    Joyner later married John Joyner; the two separated before her death. Police said John Joyner is not the boyfriend Hill believed was stolen from her.

    The medical board blamed Hill for Joyner's death, calling her "grossly negligent" in administering fentanyl without the plastic surgeon's permission and for taking too long to alert the doctor that Joyner was having problems. The plastic surgeon took responsibility for the death in a 2003 agreement with the board but kept his license. Hill gave hers up.

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