Gut-Check Question For Youth Pastors: Are You Making Disciples? by (http://thinknextnow.com/)
It’s Wednesday. A lot you youth pastors are going to see students tonight. You’ve been planning what to say and what to do. Depending on your leadership style, you might actually have a plan. Or you might be totally freaking out right now.
Whatever the case, I have a question to ask you:
Years from now, after your current students are married with kids, jobs, mortgages, car payments, and all the stress that comes with life…Who will they be pouring into?
Maybe a better question is this:Who is pouring into them right now?
And can we be honest for just one moment? Small groups don’t count. In the inner recesses of your brain, when you’re really honest with yourself, you know that you can’t call that 45-minute time slot each week “discipleship.”
I’m talking about the one-on-one, life-on-life, emptying all that is inside you into a student. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The Scripture that means the most to you. The Scripture you’re still wrestling with. The stories. The wins. The losses. The call to “teach them to observe what I have commanded you.” Make disciples.
Let me ask it again: Who are you pouring your life into?
The cool thing about discipleship is this: it makes an exponential impact. If you pour into them, they’ll pour into students later. Disciples are not disciples unless they make disciples.
Challenge: Pray and ask God to reveal just one student that He wants you to begin a discipleship relationship with. Commit to pour into that student on a regular basis (once a week would be a fantastic start) for two years.
If that freaks you out, I just hope that you’re involved in something else that Jesus commanded. I hope that the stuff that is taking up your precious hours is more important than making disciples.
A couple follow-up questions to put some wheels on this conversation:
1.What do you want to be able to say about your students by the time they graduate? That they had good attendance at all your worship services? Or that they actively participated in their faith? These should help to focus and align your programs, systems and practices.
2. Does your student ministry have a discipleship (notleadership) pipeline? In other words, what do your systems look like? Your systems tell your students what you think is important. So what are the next steps that students take if they are “all-in”?
3. What are the big changes that you’ll need to accomplish in order to fix what’s wrong with your systems? We can’t move into the future unless we identify our obstacles. HINT: “Not having enough budget” is not an appropriate answer here.