Youth Ministry Update
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Youth Ministry Update
Pastor Chris Lodriguss | World Prayer Tabernacle, Louisiana
I am so excited to share with you all that God has been doing within the youth ministries of our churches. We just held our third Youth Pastor Intensive in Orlando, Florida, and we had a great time. The first two were held in Chalmette, Louisiana, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in early 2019. At the beginning of this year, we had everyone come together at Freedom Fellowship in Orlando. We had churches from Mississippi to Minnesota and everywhere in between, and we had some great, intentional times of fellowship, teaching and ministry. We also had the privilege of hearing from Keith and Penny Tucci.
One of the main goals for the intensive this year was to help the youth leaders develop relationships with each other. One of the ways we did this was by spending a day having a blast at Universal Studios without the concerns of monitoring a group of teenagers. Many times, youth pastors/leaders find themselves on an “island” in regards to their ministry. 100% of the people youth pastors care for leave. They grow up and move out of the youth group, going off to college or moving into other areas of ministry within the church. Also, most youth leaders are bi-vocational, so they are not working with the rest of the staff daily. In addition to these ministry challenges, youth leaders are usually young married couples who are learning how to be a spouse and/or a parent at the same time. It is beneficial, important, and encouraging for youth pastors to not just be connected through ministry, but to be in relationship with other people outside of their church doing the same work. The feedback we received from the pastors and leaders at the intensive was awesome, and it seems that this goal was accomplished!
In many cases, the challenges that the Church will face tomorrow, are being faced in youth ministry today. The issues surrounding sexuality and gender have been on the frontlines of youth ministry for years, while many churches are just starting to experience these types of situations. This generation, and all subsequent ones, are suffering from information overload. They have access to more information than any generation in history, and they are being completely inundated with opinions and agenda-filled approaches that stand contrary to the Truth of God’s Word. At the intensives, we dive into these conversations with the goal of bringing about biblical Truth, as well as pastoral application, to the complex situations that are facing the Church. There is such a need for our youth ministers to have an active and growing knowledge of the Word in order to stand for Truth.
As we enter this decade, the battlefield of youth ministry will only grow more intense, and our youth ministers need to be equipped and encouraged to stand!
I had the privilege of spending some time with each person who attended, and I must say that our network is blessed! I know this wasn’t a gathering of all the youth leaders in NRP, but I have met most of our youth leaders through the intensives. I know they all have benefited from the relationships built and the equipping that comes from the intensive weekends. Thank you, pastors, for getting your youth leaders to the intensives. If you have not been able to send anyone from your youth team, I strongly encourage you to try to get them to the next one. They need it, our churches need it, and our cities need it.
Make sure you join us at Youth Camp this year. You can find all of the information and registration HERE.