The other day I was looking at my roster of soon to be 8th graders, and I realize that even though most of them have been with me for the past 2 years, they are still learning what it means to follow Christ at their own pace.
For example, I remembered the last middle school retreat where I asked the boys “Do you think God is using you and your gifts now?” One of them responded:
“I’m not even sure I even believe in God. I mean, he showed up ‘back in the day,’ but where is he now?”
Without going into detail of his history, this question was spot on for him and where he is in his “walk.”
I learned a lot that night, but mostly I learned that just because they might be attending the same functions – church, small group, bible study, etc.. it doesn’t mean you can assume they know what you are talking about. I had a difficult time with that answer, as did the other leaders that were there and thankfully one of them stepped up and answered. I don’t remember exactly what he said because I was too involved with thinking about “how can I fix this?”
Although his question was pure, and completely honest and true, I thought about where we may have missed something that would cause this sort of doubt. Then I started to formulate a mental plan to start from scratch with this one boy. Maybe start with some memory verses, or maybe even a bible reading guide.
I’m glad I didn’t go down the bible thumping path, instead I picked up Lead Small and let this quote marinate within my soul:
“You don’t need to make things complicated and try to fix your kids problems, you just simply need to love on them.”
If you are in youth ministry, I hope this resonates with you as much as it has with me.
Do you ever think your ministry might be moving too fast for the youth involved? How do you prevent or remedy that?