So some of you know that I’ve been dreaming and working on starting a non-profit for youth ministry. It seems there are tons of these and actually I hate getting phone calls from the mass of youth ministry “resources” out there but I hope this ends up being different.
First, let me just say that I think youth ministry is screwed up in many ways right now. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the way things are being done but not in the context I live and minister in. Traditionally you have some “expert” or “youth pastor” (which rarely are they thought of as a pastor and are typically treated poorly by their congregations but we should ignore that altogether and consider ourselves ministers of Christ) come to your church, if you can afford staff, and then they make these shiny programs that say look how “shiny” and “nice” and “fun” I am. Come to me and then you will get this little feeling in your belly and “BANG” you’re a Christian! Yay.
Well, these days are ending. I’ll paraphrase what my friend Josh (a youth pastor) says…”the days of Jesus crack need to end.” Well that is where Faithsowers comes in.
You see, youth pastors typically leave after 18 months of work because they’re exhausted and underappreciated or thought they were a superhero. Most churches really can’t spend the money to support another staffer and their family (especially in the area I live) and “do” youth ministry the way they think it needs to be done. Or they don’t have enough teenagers to justify the expense or the time. Instead of just loving on their kids anyway, they embrace their defeat and and someday will minister to their youth. Enter Faithsowers. If a community has even one youth we believe they should be ministered to in the unique way of youth ministry.
One or two youth pastors will come alongside a group of volunteers and teach, model, train, fellowship, and pray with that team for at least one year. Exploring what it means to do youth ministry theologically. Exploring what it means to be a small community that is missional and apart of the great work of God. It is my hope, our hope, that after one year the community will have vision, understanding, and love to give to their youth with or without a youth pastor. In fact, we’d love to simply see all youth pastors out of a job (I am one of those) because churches are loving on their teens without the promptings and entertainment of a youth pastor.
This way, we avoid financial difficulties, the community is expressing Acts 2 more fully, the kids won’t be torn apart from yet another adult after 18 months and I won’t feel second rate as a youth pastor anymore and can stop complaining to my youth pastor friends.
We just launched a basic website that we hope will be a nurturing environment for churches to explore youth ministry and be apart of the conversation. It isn’t real flashy but hopefully provides an entry point for some churches to explore youth ministry.
Check it out if you have time: