Summary: A message for Youth Workers working with urban youth and teens.
Ministering to Urban Youth
By Joel Sanabria
One of the many mistakes youth workers make when ministering to urban youth is not being able to communicate with them. Communicating between teens and youth workers is not necessarily the main problem; instead many youth workers try to convert them during their first meeting or conversation„owithout even allowing them to first know of Jesus and about their ministry.
Before we minister to urban youth or to try and bring them into our churches we must first enter into their world, hear their story then approach them with compassion and understanding with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ whereby step by step they can learn about Him without any pressures of trying to convert them. Understand that we are not called to convert anyone; we are called to make a difference in people¡¦s lives.
Trying to build up an army of young people isn¡¦t easy. But it shouldn¡¦t be all about numbers. Instead we should focus more on saving souls from the fiery furnace, extending our hand out to kids who are in the pit of despair as well being able to impact a kid¡¦s life through everything we say and live by.
We have to learn to speak truth to teenagers and be real with them. We as youth ministers must learn to speak life to kids in order to obtain positive results in their lives and transform their hearts in Jesus name.
I must admit that there are good methods in ministering to youth as well great ideas and programs that have been used by many youth workers. Some have made impressive headway, but the reality of this is that at times they tend to fall short in making a difference in a teen¡¦s life because of the lack of spiritual guidance.
Many youth ministers are so busy in getting their churches full of kids to give an impressive report to the church council that they practically leave out the need for prayer, the study of God¡¦s word and living a life for God.
The hangouts, the parties, the get-togethers all the entertainment will not make a difference if we don¡¦t teach our youth about the importance of prayer and the study of God¡¦s word.
In order to resolve the issues we have, obtain the answers we seek and find the hope we need we must look to Jesus Christ who is the only way, truth and giver of eternal life.
All the hip hop ¡V all the concerts ¡V all the so called Christian clubs, urban fashions and code of the streets could never do what prayer, knowing God and living a holy life will do in a young person¡¦s life.
It¡¦s good to keep our kids busy with creative activities, games and musical concerts. These things help break the ice in allowing teens to better acquaint themselves with other teens and youth workers. Young people need to socialize and be involved in creative activities as well to have the opportunity to express and demonstrate their God given talents. All this is good and needed in our churches and communities, but what benefit will al that be if we can¡¦t make a difference because we decided not to rely on God¡¦s word and power of His Holy Spirit? We must help this hip-hop generation seating in our churches and hanging out in streets the importance of seeking more of God and less of this world.
Ministering to urban youth cannot be taken lightly. The enemy¡¦s only interest with our kids is to have their lives in constant depression, disaster and destruction. And know this¡K The enemy will try to continuously make our job as youth ministers more difficult each day because we are so blinded by the idea of pleasing and entertaining teenagers instead of being upfront with the truth of God¡¦s word and much love and compassion.
You just have to have a passion to minister to urban youth and a desire to see their lives go from statistics to success in Jesus name. Without that there is no reason for you to be in youth ministry. The task is not easy and it will get even harder, but with God on our side backing your calling to youth ministry it is possible to win the many battles to come.
But I must say this; we are losing our youth to the many false religions, sex, drugs, gangs, and the lifestyles of this world and to many corrupt so called Christian ministries. The truth must be told because there lives depend on it. It is by the truth of God¡¦s word that we can obtain freedom and are sanctified. This we do by putting on the armor of God daily.
And through that process which we as youth ministers are supposed to live by we become open epistles to these young people. We become positive and effective role models and mentors.