Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My Case for Youth Ministry

It was a whirlwind month of May, and I left so inspired. And I just had to get around to telling you all about it...

First, I hit the East Coast of Canada to represent Compassion at the first-ever One Conference—a gathering of ~2000 youth and youth leaders from across denominations, coming together to learn, worship, and have a ton of fun.

Then, I made my way to the prairies along with my brother to represent Compassion Canada at YC Alberta—a gathering of ~5500 youth and youth leaders, again, from across denominations, coming together to learn, worship and have a lot of fun (and, as it turns out, to sponsor 157 Compassion kids! WHAT!).

photo credits

Finally, I came home and made my way north to the Muskokas to gather with my own youth group... ~500 of us gathering for a weekend at camp to build our relationships with each other and with Jesus.

Then, on top of all that, I got to finally come home and in the first week of June watch 10 people from my youth group get baptized, 2 of which were girls in my Jr. High group that I got to help baptize. It was an absolute joy.

video credits to my super talented brother!

There's several things I'm convinced of at the end of this mini-youth ministry marathon, but here's my biggest one. If you are not involved with a youth ministry at the moment, I highly recommend it.

Seriously. There's just something that's good for your soul when you stand with dozens, hundreds or thousands of teenagers and declare the name of Jesus in song, word and community.

It's a balm to cynicism. It's a reason to hope. 

When teenagers have the courage to say yes to Jesus, I am confident that we are going to be okay. 

When teenagers decide to sponsor dozens and dozens of children through Compassion, I see a generation that sees the messy brokenness of the world and is relentless in its pursuit of shalom anyways.

When teenagers lift their hands and declare the reckless love of God, the powerful name of Jesus, I know that the Spirit is going to move in mighty ways through them.

I've had the privilege of going nearly coast to coast this spring, hanging out with teenagers. And I just want you to know that it's not bad news. It's not the desolate landscape of hopelessness that we sometimes think it is. 

It's a movement of kind, relentless, passionate, tenacious, bright young people who love Jesus and are committed to His peace, His shalom, His Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

It's pretty cool, friends, and it is a joy to be a part of it.

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