2 Excuses We Use To Avoid Sending Students
One of this year’s focuses for the National Youth Workers Convention will be how youth workers can create service experiences that impact the lives of teenagers and create a healthy relationship with those whom they serve. This post from Steve Case is a provocative thought that hopefully creates conversations we can all continue together in person at NYWC. Register early to save big! NYWC.com
Jesus said, if someone is hungry…feed them.
If someone is cold…give them a blanket.
If someone is lonely…visit them.
We are called by God to be the very presence of His Son on this earth. We…you and I and every kid in your youth group are called to be the hands and feet and eyes and ears and heart of Jesus.
Jesus is here..now…because we are here.
So…the question for our churches becomes if you have a group of teenagers who want to be the eyes and ears and hands and feet and heart of Jesus Christ….why exactly do we make them hold a car wash first?
Youth ministry is funded the way it is funded because that is the we have always funded them. Churches like to see teenagers sweat. You can hold a bake sale or you can hold a mulch-fest. The mulch fest will bring in more cash.
Youth groups should not have to find a way to raise the money so they can “go.” The church should be thinking of ways to raise the money so they can “send.” Here are some ideas we might be using as excuses for why we choose for students to “go” instead of choosing for us to “send” students.
Excuse #1: The work is good for them.
Of course it is. That’s why they want to go. There is truth to the phrase “I’m tired but it’s a good tired.” With what students go through in the school year…a pace that most adults would balk at…sometimes to get out of your own head and work with your hands is mentally and spiritually cleansing.
Excuse #2: Teenagers are lazy. This will teach them the value of money.
Teaching students the value of money is a completely different lesson. There are some great tools out there to do that. Making a kid work is butt of mulching the front of a church members house so they can earn the money to go and put a new roof on someone else’s doesn’t teach anything about money. Seeing someone who has no roof on their house… talking with someone who has all their worldly belongings in shopping cart… working in a sweaty kitchen preparing what will most likely be a child’s only meal that day…. will teach them more about money than any fundraiser ever will.
Someday…perhaps….when the youth group says, “We want to go into the world and be God’s servants.” The church will not respond with “How are you going to pay for that?” and instead say, “How much do you need?”
Steve Case has been active in youth ministry for 18 years, currently at Windermere Union United Church of Christ near Orlando, Florida. He’s also a popular speaker and the author of several books, including EVERYTHING COUNTS and THE BOOK OF UNCOMMON PRAYER. Find more of his books HERE and visit his website HERE.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.