This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the High School Youth Leadership Conference at William Jessup University (of which I am an alumni at). In a room meant for less than twenty, we crammed fifty-nine into the first session and thirty into the second. Besides the body heat and evident aroma of high schoolers and their pastors confined to a tight space, the event was a complete success.
I spoke on the topic of “Ministry Without Boundaries”, something of which I am passionate about, as I do my best to emulate this principle and have that pour out into the lives of my students and adult youth workers (and therefore my church). As I began the session, we dove deep into what a life, what a ministry looks like that is “out of bounds”. We’re talking about doing things different, in fresh, real and relevant ways.
Diving deeper, we discussed cutting edge ministries that are approaching their landscape in new and exciting formats, such as Hookers for Jesus, XXXChurch and and more locally (where I am at) with the homeless programs and our “Have a Need? Meet a Need.” program that meets the tangible needs of our community (specifically families in and around our immediate community) in order to bridge the gap to more eternal needs.
In our time of discussion, it became apparent that within this room, there was a huge need for what I was bringing them, what God has placed upon my heart. The above ministries (Hookers for Jesus, XXXChurch, the ministries I am currently in the thick of) are things that have barely been heard of, if at all. Things that aren’t being done in their churches and communities. So this brings me to the heart of this short blog: Where are we at? What are we doing? Where are we going? Is this really what is going on?
I write this here in the teens section because I because that this is the frontline to the battle. Teens are at the very heart of the discussion because more often than not, they are the most easily influenced, attracted to and the least paid attention to. Sure, there are student ministries out there and youth help programs, but what I am hearing and see around the country is there is a huge cry out for help. Somewhere, there is a huge disconnect.
So I ask you teens, are you really getting everything you need?
- Do you feel like we (the Church) are drawing alongside you in support of your life?
- Is the Church reaching out to you in ways you never thought possible, embracing you with the love of Jesus?
- Are you getting what you need?
- How can we better serve you?