For the ten years that I did youth ministry I never thought to much about the long term. I was always so busy with the games, activities and lessons that I never sat down and thought about where those kids would be 10, 5 or even a few years down the road. A couple of years ago I started to think about this more though. I started to change my focus and message style. I started to focus more on the Gospel and less on the games. I will have to wait to see if that made any difference.
I am speaking about this now because over the years as I have gone back and talked with former youth group members I have found that many of them were coming for the food, their friends or because they were forced. This is not all the former students, but is a large chuck of them.
As I speak with them I have heard stories of drugs, drinking and sexual activity. Many of these things were being done while they were involved in youth group. They speak of having few regrets and little belief. Their words are full of gray areas, vague morals and a belief in a “god”. I worry for them now as I did when they were in youth group.
I worry that they will never come to know who Jesus is and how He can save them from themselves.
I worry that maybe I didn’t preach the Gospel clear enough or didn’t explain it well enough.
I worry that I didn’t set a good enough example for them. That perhaps I wasn’t there for them when they needed me.
All that worry however won’t do a thing for them now. All I can do is pray for them. Pray that God will draw them to Himself. Pray that God will send people to speak truth into their lives.
I ask you to do the same, I ask you to pray for them. More importantly be there for the students that God has put in your life now.