These 18 commitments I’ve lived by in student ministry. I want to share them with you for the New Year. Some are original to me, some I reworked, and some I can’t remember where they came from.- Hope they bless you and your ministry.
- If I listen to them all week they will listen to me on youth night.
- I will be where they are. I can’t do youth ministry by looking at a computer screen 8 hours a day.
- I will express my love for students. My ability as a leader can be measured by my skill of communicating love to my students.
- I will exude warmth. Youth ministry doesn’t need to be cooler it must become warmer.
- I will not pretend. Students can’t get close to a Rock Star youth pastor. They need me; warts and all.
- I will create extended times together. Retreats are bad coffee and sleepless nights but more learning happens in a weekend than 3 months of youth nights!
- My student ministry will be a no burn zone! No one treads on anyone verbally or physically.
- Students expect my criticism and judgement. I will surprise them with grace.
- I will not envy. Every other youth ministry looks awesome when its 500 miles away.
- I will create engaging learning experiences. Learning isn’t happening just because my lips are moving.
- I will always aim for change. The goal of youth ministry is life transformation not packing a room.
- I will get each one into the Scripture. The Bible is most powerful when students discover its truths for themselves.
- When I work, I work. When I pray, God works. I will pray always.
- There is no substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit –not entertainment, not persuasion, intimidation. He will lead all I do. I will surrender to Him each day.
- I will love the unlovely. My students are watching and will follow my lead.
- I will seek out and meet needs for he or she who meets needs leads.
- I will not do for students what they can do for themselves. I will teach them dependence on Christ.
- I will affirm students always. More change will happen by encouraging the good than condemning the bad.
As a professor I continue to try and use these with my college students. Try posting one at your desk each week over the next 18 weeks and see the results these commitments will bear in your ministry each week!