Book Summary: Seven Myths of Youth Ministry

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Seven Myths of Youth Ministry: How to re-ignite your passion

(Nigel James and Gary Smith, 2004)

Myth 1: We really make a difference in our one hour a week

Truth: Give all the time you can to young people

We need a community, intimacy and purpose. Give your time to your youths just to hang out with them. This creates authenticity, availability, trust and transparency.

Myth 2: Size isn’t important

Truth: Aim for growth in quality and quantity

Dream big and don’t think small. Both the small and big groups are needed.  Always seek to grow.

Myth 3: We don’t preach – we are just sowing the seeds

Truth: Commit to effective, contemporary and Biblical preaching

We need powerful, passionate, Christ-centered and relevant preaching to our youths. Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. Learn to sow and reap by asking for a response whether for salvation or renewed discipleship calls.

Myth 4: You have to ask them what they want

Truth: Seek vision from God and follow it

You must lead by seeking God for a vision, building that vision and making it a reality for the youth. We need to ask God what the youths need, not asking the youths what they want. Be clear about your vision and mission statement. Help develop and guide the next generation of youth leaders.

Myth 5: Young people lack commitment

Truth: Build commitment into the life of young people

We need to show our commitment to the youth first. If you challenge youths with a good cause and the opportunity to serve, they will commit. More than commitment to the local church, youths should be committed to Jesus. This means that some may serve Jesus outside the local church and we must support them.

Myth 6: Young people are the future of the church

Truth: Integrate young people into the life of the church

Youths not only have potential for the future but right now! Train and give them chances to lead in the church. Don’t isolate them in the youth service or church or will lead to transition problems later. Involve them locally and globally. Be an ambassador for youths, help the church be more youth-friendly and get youths involved now.

Myth 7: We aren’t in the entertainment business

Truth: Engage and entertain young people in God’s house

We must present the gospel in an entertaining way. Jesus always held interest when he spoke. This doesn’t mean the message is changed but the medium.

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