I don’t want to be a salesman. I want to have a hand in changing lives, and as a result, I’m convinced that the work I do isn’t about creating events and attracting a crowd. My focus must be on letting God have his way in me rather than trying to push my way on others. I want to meet God. I want to know God. I want to follow God. I want to die to self and live in God so that I might have life and have it to the fullest. In turn, I hope that others will glimpse Christ alive in me and begin to recognize their own hunger for what is real.
What that means for youth ministry at Newberg Friends is that if we want to make a difference in the lives of youth, we must learn to focus on the spiritual formation of those adults who work with youth. Here are some questions for us to ask ourselves:
Do we live in awe of God’s beauty, power and mercy?
Do we seek a first-hand experience of God’s presence?
Do we love truth and live out love?
God has given us a calling at NFC, not to save kids (God takes care of that part), but to notice them, to love them, to help them if we can and when we can, to make a difference in their lives by being the people God created us to be. And God has given a calling to those of you at NFC who aren’t yet adults — to live generously, to join in community, to recognize your gifts and to learn to use them as demonstrations of love.
In the end, youth ministry becomes a kind of experiential (and experimental) community in which youth and adults come together as co-workers, dedicated to finding evidence of Christ in one another, seeking new ways to communicate Christ in community.
I want to end with an invitation. Would you consider whether God might be calling you to be part of this community? It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young, an introvert or an extrovert, conventional or controversial. If you love God, there’s room.
I’ll be waiting to hear from you,