Three Ways to Teach Youth their Identity in Christ

“FOR WE ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE…”

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

Teaching Youth Their Identity | Timothy Eldred

I might be wrong, but I doubt that most young people walked around saying, “Look at me; I’m a masterpiece!” More teens’ lives seem to convey, “Look at me; I’m a mess.” They feel as though life lacks meaning, and they make decisions that help them fit in more than stand out. Unfortunately, I find this true of both Christian and non-Christian youth.

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Lessons from 317 Million Miles Away

I was listening to an NPR news report this morning about the landing a spacecraft on a comet 317 million miles from Earth. The Rosetta probe dropped its payload named, Philae, on the 2.5 mile-wide mass, called 67P/C-G. But there’s a problem. Philae is stuck in a shadowy crater. Its solar panels are unable to absorb the light of the sun. Its battery is dying. So what happens next? And what can this situation teach youth workers?

Philae Touchdown on 67P/C-G

As I considered the story, I was immediately struck with three thoughts worth considering for our ministry with youth. Take a few minutes to ponder these questions and consider their impact:

  1. Are young people able to absorb the light coming from our life?
  2. Are we intentional about taking time to recharge their batteries?
  3. Are youth exposed to dynamic adults or isolated in the shadows?

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how to cultivate a culture of commitment

Many issues we face in youth work can be highly discouraging. Commitment—or the lack thereof—might top the list. This was the case as mentioned by a frustrated youth worker on Facebook recently. He was justifiably upset and disappointed that the adult musicians he recruited to lead worship for their youth ministry ditched their duties. They called him last minute to say they wouldn’t be showing up for rehearsal. He closed his post with this question, “Why can’t we get commitment?”

On the surface, we could classify this common scenario as a “crisis of commitment” in the overall culture. There’s certainly an argument for that diagnosis in the Church today as well. In my 22 years of ministry, I have experienced my fair share of irresponsible people (even been one myself from time-to-time), but I’ve also learned some leadership principles that increase responsibility and cultivate a culture of commitment.

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