Is Your Ministry to Teenagers Actually Gospel-Centered? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

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Yesterday’s article, The “Quick Fix” and the Storm: The Gospel is of First Importance, centered around one youth minister’s realization that her gospel- centered youth ministry wasn’t as gospel- centered as she had thought. Today, she shares some questions you might find helpful for evaluating your own youth ministry’s focus.

  1. What are my metrics for growth in students or ministry? Are they easily quantifiable actions or moments, or are they harder to identify as I keep my aim toward the long-term perseverance of the saints, knowing it will be messy, different for each student, and that I may not see the end result?
  2. What is my first response when a student confesses sin? Do I immediately seek for answers or solutions to help defeat their desire, or do I seek to mourn the reality of sin and then offer them the grace and mercy that is theirs in Christ Jesus, committing to the journey of redeeming their desire to the glory of God?
  3. What is the aim when I teach? Is it for students to walk away with a better vision for their lives, or is it for my students to walk away with a better vision of God?
  4. Am I giving space for my students to live in the tension of the gospel – the already, and the not yet – by proclaiming hope and joy, while also not hiding from the pain?
  5. Do I seek novelty for my ministry and teaching? Or am I willing to join in the collective work of the ancient church, and believe in the power of the gospel for the work of sanctification and salvation as students?
  6. How often do I pray and what do I pray for? Am I running on my own or do I so deeply recognize my desperate dependence on the Lord that I seek Him in prayer and Word before all else?
  7. Am I willing to risk loss for the sake of truth? Do I hold the promise and hope of the gospel as so precious that I am willing to have the tough conversations, or give the hard truths, even at the risk of losing numbers or popularity?
  8. Do I have an answer for everything, or do I allow my students to see the beauty of knowing an infinite God as they watch me grow in my own knowledge and understanding of Him?
  9. Do I allow for the work of the Spirit in students’ lives, or do I play the role of a savior as I consistently swoop into their lives to fix their problems?
  10. Are the songs we sing, and the Words we preach, proclaiming the whole gospel to students? Or do we sing more about joy, peace, and the here-and-now than we do about our brokenness and sin and coming restoration?
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