Mark Driscoll asked this same question earlier this month on his Facebook page. It’s a great question to think about. You can ask this as a parent, a teen, a youth pastor, and as a member of your church. A logical couple of questions that come out of this are: 1) What is the “anything” we are asking about? 2) What criteria are we going to use to determine if the “anything” is being produced?
What Do We Mean By “Anything?”
First, what is the “anything” we are talking about? We are talking about, “Is your youth group accomplishing anything for the glory of God?” If we are here to make the name of Christ known, please Him, obey Him, bring glory to God, and enjoy Him, like the Bible says, then the “anything” has everything to do with doing ministry in a way (both in content and context) to bring glory to God.
How is Success Measured?
Second, what criteria are we going to use to measure how are church’s youth group is doing at accomplishing “anything”? I will offer a few now, then add and expand upon these later.
- Clearly preaching, teaching, proclaiming the gospel without shame, hesitation, or apology.
- Leaders that live their faith (in speech and conduct) based on God’s word – they are transparent, real.
- Relationships between leaders and teens, parents and teens, teens and teens, leaders and parents are solid, growing, and have open and regular communication.
- Teens are not only being taught the Bible, but are being taught how to think biblically, share their faith openly, and live life skillfully (Solomon’s wisdom, not Napoleon Dynamite’s “skills”).
- Youth are encouraged and trained how to build relationships with adults, serve, and function in the life of the church body alongside adults.
- Teens are growing spiritually – not quantum leaps or in superficial bursts of emotional hype, but faithful, disciplined growth.
This should help all of us as we wrestle with and seek to improve answering the question, “Is my youth group accomplishing anything?”