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Autonomous (capable of independent function) Youth Ministry -Part 1

What would youth ministries look like if our goal was to give our ministry away? I’m talking about literally trying to work ourselves out of a job. At first blush this sounds like a kamikaze mission. I can hear the protest now, “If I work myself out of a ministry then what will I do?” So let’s think through this together.

When a missionary goes to an international field, the goal is to build an autonomous ministry that can reach people with the gospel and disciple them in the faith. We plant churches in this country and around the world with the goal of giving the ministry away so the process can be repeated. So why can’t we approach youth ministry this way?

In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul challenges young Timothy with transferring his faith to others. He changes the ministry equation by throwing down the challenge of reproducing reproducers. Notice this is not a concept limited by chronological age: it is meant to be the accepted Christian standard.

Maybe the connectivity is obvious but consider some practical applications to the principle. I am going to simply list these and develop them further in the next three blog entries.

1.     Students – Obviously our goal is to reach students with the gospel but are we just as committed to developing them to the point of embracing an autonomous faith that is contagious?

2.     Leaders – Are the youth leaders in your church babysitters, enforcers, clone-reproducers or disciplers capable of functioning autonomously thus multiplying ministry and influence?

3.     Parents – Highly effective youth ministries also have a parent ministry focus. Would it be revolutionary or prudent to help Christian parents become the spiritual mentors in the home?

As the apostle Paul said, “Think on these things,” and let me know what you think. In Part 2 we will develop the concept of autonomous students.

Autonomous Youth Ministry: Part 2

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