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In Episode 8 of The Youth Ministry Mindset Podcast, a limited series with voices from Alpha and YDisciple, Joshua, Annie, and Jordan discuss the possibilities and practicals of implementing a transformational ministry. Join us as we wrap up the conversation on youth ministry in a post-COVID world.
What could transformational ministry look like?
We don’t need to change what we teach, because the truths of the Church are unchanging, but we can change how we teach it. We can teach our teens, small group leaders, and parents how to extend grace to others, because our youth groups are a place for all teenagers who need Jesus – not just the good kids and not just “troubled teens.” Transformational ministry includes creating a place of invitation and relationship.
Transformation is a slow process. Success isn’t a breakthrough; it’s teenagers coming back.
It is possible to use any program and not see it go right. Discipleship is not found in any particular program; these programs are tools to help us cultivate a culture of discipleship. It’s each person, and the culture, that matter.
Alpha and YDisciple working together demonstrates how ministries in the Church can work with and alongside each other to encourage the culture of slow transformation. Teens first need an encounter with the person of Jesus that leads to evangelization. Discipleship isn’t linear; it’s circular – not a circle of content, but a circle that expands culture in a community.
This youth ministry mindset is not a formalized program; we are raising more questions than answers, and the goal is for us to all work together to find solutions. So be Spirit-led and ask the Lord, “How are you asking me to utilize any resources to respond to the needs of my particular community?”
IMPORTANT POINTS TO COMMUNICATE TO VOLUNTEERS
- Start small, don’t stay small. Think mustard seed to movement. Know the Lord wants to do something big, and we just start with one thing.
- Discern where the Lord is calling you to transform.
- Be hopeful. We can transform in many ways, and the Holy Spirit is giving us great dreams and visions and inspiring us to go where we have the potential to go.
- What you do matters.
- Lean into reliance on the Holy Spirit; that will be the beginning of how all the rest of this unfolds. God wants to lead you.