Youth workers are working hard, but the reality for many is the countless hours they have put in are not resulting in the transformation they are hoping for in students’ lives.
Kara Powell, executive director of the Center for Youth and Family Ministry at Fuller Seminary, worked in youth ministry for 19 years. She came to a point where she had a “scary” realization.
“Here I had given countless hours to something I believed in … and was passionate about it. And while, of course, God was changing students’ lives, it wasn’t the type of transformation that I was hoping for and I think I had been clinging to the verse in the Scripture that God’s word will not return void,” she said in a Youth Specialties (youth workers organization) interview.
The reality for many ministering to students is their ministry is not quite where they want it to be, noted Powell, who co-authored Deep Ministry in a Shallow World with Chap Clark, professor of youth, family and culture at Fuller.
Many youth ministries end up running the same programs and conducting the same retreats every year and hope kids will change from it.”
That’s what we do in youth ministry,” said Powell.
Interesting article – definitely want to spend some time reflecting on the key thought – do we make the difference we intend to or do we fail like we haven’t quite achieved what we want. A big thing is this age old question of how we measure success.