Talk about a crazy month! Over the past forty or so days I have been all over Southeast Asia. I started in central Indonesia, flew to Penang, Malaysia, back to central Indonesia, up to Jakarta, Indonesia, back to central Indonesia, over to South Bali for a conference, up to North Bali for vacation, and then back to where we are staying in central Indonesia. Whew! After a few days of rest, however, I am back up to speed and have lots to talk about!
First, let me say that God is moving. During my travels I had the chance to meet with many church planters who are doing amazing things in their cities. I was very encouraged and believe they are on the cusp of seeing great things happen.
Second, if you didn’t read my last post, you should read it before continuing with this one. Follow this link, and then come back when you are finished.
The Church Planter Youth Minister:
As stated in my last post, I hope to examine those elements present in church planting that should also be present in youth ministry. All over the world, church planters are trying to start movements that push outward into new and unfamiliar territories. In the American church, however, we don’t always seem to find this same zeal for changing communities and cities. Rather, we see them offering what one church planter calls a “parallel universe,” where they can step away from their daily lives and into the comforts of the local church.
This trend must reverse if we are going to see a movement begin. In youth ministry, we must create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable and equipped to take their faith with boldness into their schools.
To learn how we as youth pastors can help foster this movement, I am going to examine Ten Elements Present in Every Church Planting Movement as detailed by David Garrison in his book Church Planting Movements. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. It will change your perspective on this thing we call “the church.”
#1: Extraordinary Prayer
How many youth ministries do prayer well? I mean really well? Upon meeting with individuals who have seen church planting movements begin all over the world, Garrison and team concluded that extraordinary prayer was foundational for a movement to ever begin.
If we desire to see Middle Schools and High Schools impacted with the gospel, how much time are we spending praying for these schools and praying for our students in them? This will require more than the yearly “See You At The Poll” rally. Could it be possible that we have not seen significant change in schools because we have failed to petition for them? Or worse, have we failed to instill in students a desire to see their schools change? How much time do students spend praying for their schools?
Looking back on my time in ministry, I am convicted by this realization. While I sought to see schools and the students in them impacted, I failed to spend the time on my knees asking for a movement to happen.
Let us commit to change. Spend significant time this week praying for the schools that feed your ministry. In addition, challenge your students to pray continually for their classmates. Make extraordinary prayer the foundation that begins a movement in your community.