Youth Ministry’s Golden Opportunity. . .

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve continued to engage in what John Stott called “dual listening.” It’s that task of the parent, youth worker, preacher, teacher, and anyone else who cares about ministering to and leading kids. It’s that task of listening to both Word and world in order to bring the light of God’s Word to shine on the realities that exist in the culture.

Unless you’ve been asleep, the culture is changing. I said to our CPYU team yesterday that communicating any information about youth culture trends right now seems like an empty exercise. We are so locked in on what’s happening with this pandemic that everything else in the culture has been eclipsed. Are you sensing the same thing? The overwhelming trend right now is spiritual hunger.

For me personally, the Scriptures are coming to life in ways that I have never experienced before. And even though I dabble in some fear related to the pandemic, my heart leaps with joy as I engage with God’s Word. There’s also a growing and overwhelming sense that our students and their families are getting there as well.

And so, I’ve got to say this. . . youth workers. . . this is not a time to relate, teach, lead, and minister with a shallowness occasioned by the belief that your students can’t handle the deeper truths of God and the sometimes painful realities of discipleship. This pandemic has leveled the playing field. It is tearing away distractions and idols in ways that lead to everyone. . . young and old alike (me!). . . to see their overwhelming need for Christ and a deeply rooted faith. Ears, eyes, and hearts are receptive. Tend to the roots of your students in ways that you never have before! Do so with grace and love. What an amazing opportunity we’ve been given! Don’t waste it.

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