Youth News - February 2009
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Our Junior high youth group has been blessed with seeing a number of young people attending and being excited about this group and about their faith in Jesus. As a leader, however, my desire is not only to see the group grow larger but also smaller at the same time.

What do I mean? Well, you already know that it’s not easy to share your hurts, your struggles, and your prayer concerns with a large group of people; particularly if you are just beginning to know some of them. What are needed are trust and a sense of safety. These kinds of things happen in the arenas of close friendships, family, smaller fellowships, and shared experiences.

One of the things that we will be beginning to do this month and in upcoming months is to spend one youth group night a month in smaller settings: young men with adult male leaders and young women with adult female leaders discussing questions based upon the previous weeks’ Bible studies. Everyone needs an arena where we can wrestle with how the truths of scripture have been impacting their personal lives. Within these smaller settings we also want to remain so open to the Holy Spirit that we may offer prayer, counsel, and support to the issues that are directly at hand in the students’ lives, even when those issues may not directly relate to our previous discussions.

This also provides them with an opportunity to find ways that they can minister to each other throughout the week. They can pray for one another, give each other a call during the week, or even try to hang out together and make encouragement a regular part of their fellowship outside of youth group. As a youth leader, a large part of my job is to shepherd young people in the faith and to share God’s word with them. Another large part of my calling, though, is to equip them for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4.11-12 NKJV). I pray that our youth will know from a young age that the pastor or ‘ministers’ are not the only ones who can offer prayer, encouragement, and support to the Body of Christ, but every member of the Body can! Our young people need to learn from experience that church is not a building that we attend a couple of times a week, but church is a community of people who share their walk with Jesus together throughout the week. Church life is just as much about what happens in between Sundays as it is about our Sunday worship gatherings.

With that said, I hope that you are encouraged today to know that God has called you, equipped you, and has prepared opportunities for you to minister to someone else today. May you take every relationship in your life as an opportunity to encourage, pray for, and impact their lives for the kingdom of God.

Grace & Peace,



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