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In order to be effective in Youth Ministry we must practice and teach the importance of authenticity. We need to help students see the authenticity of who Jesus really is. We need to help our students see that Jesus is more than just a person to call on in times of trouble. He is God in the flesh. He is a person who understands us. We can truly say that Jesus “gets me”. He knows my thoughts, my needs, and my dreams. He is not just a problem solver. When we understand this concept, then we can see the power of the cross revealed. We see a God who came in the flesh to show us how to live, how to die to our sins, and how to be raised to walk in His righteousness. Students want to be understood. They are looking for a place to belong. They want someone to understand them and identify with their struggles. We can help them see that Christ is that person. If we become an extension of Christ’s life, we can impact this generation in a mighty way. By investing our lives in students, just a Christ invested in the disciples, we will see much change.
We must keep the BIG picture in mind. We have to put people before programs. We can not underestimate the power of presence. Just being available and listening to students share the successes and failures in their life; we will make a great impact. We also must realize that we can’t minister to everyone. Not everyone wants to be ministered to. We must also practice the 50-50 rule. The 50-50 rule means that we need to balance our time between our students and our leaders. We must be able to spend 50% of our time with students and 50% with our adult leaders. Remember we are a model of relational ministry. We must be able to balance these two areas. We need to be real and authentic with our students and leaders.
Jesus was able to do this very well. His disciples saw Him in His full glory on the Mount of Transfiguration and in His brokenness in the Garden of Gethsemane. Authenticity is really at the heart of the true ministry. When Jesus was baptized and the Father spoke his affirmation over his son by saying “in whom I am well pleased”, we see who Jesus really was. His divine nature and human nature were transparent for all to see. All we have to do is look. His miracles testified to his deity while his sorrow and brokenness in the Garden displayed His humanity. Authentic Ministry is what every believer is called to. We are the body of Christ. We are an extension of His saving grace.
We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zone, and “dwell” with those who need to experience the love and grace of Christ.
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