I feel a call to radical ministry. I always wonder what that looks like in youth group terms. And it’s hard to feel like you’re doing something radical when you spend most of your time planning. Whether it’s messages, meetings, or minutia (alliteration is always sweet). I think my idea of what is radical has a lot to do with its ties to mission.
Here are some things I’ve done recently:
1) Build up a kind of strategy for organic, personal outreach and emphasized it with the group. The series went something like this:
* What is an oikos? (Focused on teaching what an oikos was–an oikos is 8-15 people God has placed in your sphere of influence so that you can minister to them– and how to identify yours)
* Why an oikos (Focus on why oikos evangelism is effective)
* How does it all work (Focused on the heart behind the evangelism-what is the motivation?)
* How it can fail (Focused on how outreach will fail without first being true followers of Christ)
2) Organized a mission/vision statement that focuses on the three aspects of the youth ministry, which would look something like this:
* Set Apart (this is who we are, who we want to be)
* Operation Infiltration (this is our mission, our two-word summation of the Great Commission to go. Our goal is to infiltrate our worlds (oikos) with the gospel.
* Oikos (this is our mission field. It’s our 8-15 people God has strategically and supernaturally put into our lives.)
3) Everything we do is based around cultivating these things.
* Sunday mornings are focused on biblical teaching as to how we are to be Set Apart for God’s use.
* Our small prayer group meets before every Wednesday night to pray for the kids in youth group.
* Wednesday nights are an outreach program that kids can bring their unsaved friends to. It’s intentionally programmed to be made for unsaved kids to come (but the gospel is not watered down!)
* Other events are opportunities for kids to invite their friends (oikos) so we can build relationships and extend our sphere of influence.
The kids in the youth group are responding with enthusiasm with the right motivations (I think) but we have yet to see numerical growth…Which is okay!
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”