ODJ: youth ministry 101

May 20, 2013 

READ: Acts 2:37-47 

Each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved (v.47).

If you read some recent books on youth ministry, it’shard not to get the sense that this part of churchministry is experiencing some major struggles. And nearly everyone has an opinion about how youth ministry should be improved. Parents, youth workers and young people themselves have expectations and demands that don’t always agree. So, what should we do?

In Acts 2 we read about the birth of the church when 3,000 people were suddenly added to a little band of 120 (1:15). What did the members of this fledgling, growing group do? They “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). They wanted to know God and how to live a life that pleased Him. So they studied His Word, enjoyed fellowship and prayed together. As truth was proclaimed, the people loved one another deeply, and lives were changed. A profound impact was made on each believer and on those in the local community (vv.43-46). 

But what about games? Music? Fun? What about those elements that could attract the youth? Well, if we study Acts 2, we note that it wasn’t excellent programming that attracted the people—it was transformed lives. Now this doesn’t mean that youth ministry today should be dull. Bible teaching and discussion can be inspiring and life changing. In the early church, as the believers passionately pursued God, He “added to their fellowship those who were being saved” (v.47). 

If you’re a youth worker or a parent, focus on directing your youth to exalt God, encourage one another and share their faith with the lost. And if you’re a member of a youth group, remember that you’re not in it to be entertained. God has so much more for you to do.—Poh Fang Chia

Read Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:7 to gain some wisdom on how to follow God as a young person.
How can you help a young person grow in Jesus? What can you do to encourage other believers to exalt God, edify other Christians and evangelise the lost?