Here is my question to you youth workers out there: When is the last time you stopped and actually contemplated WHO you are speaking to on Sunday and Wednesday? I know that as youth pastors we are to be relevant to our students and have relationships with them, but have you ever picked out a few students and actually charted out what you think, or know, they are addressing daily and weekly? How are you speaking into THESE areas?
I was forced to do this last week when I gave my final talk in a series titled “Sex Appeal.” Bet you can’t figure out what it was about… Anywho, this specific talk was the hardest of them all…homosexuality. What makes that difficult? Knowing there is a student sitting in the FRONT ROW wrestling with this issue.
When I talk about other things, or point out other sins, it’s almost as if I am addressing a collective YOU (being all the students). But when I started preaching, it was as if I could feel the eyes of this specific student. Is that weird? It changed the way I preached.
As Youth Pastors we are called to be reverse engineers: We have to decipher pop-culture, figure out what students are wrestling with, ask where parents are having problems, listen to the Holy Spirit on how to address these things, submit ourselves to the Word, and then shape a talk in a way that will hold the attention of our students….rough!
We have quite a job ahead of us. May we do it with integrity, humility, and wisdom.