Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
It’s important to have goals for your youth ministry. Although they may encompass many things, is one of the main ones to love students? Loving each youth with the love of Jesus should be a top goal for each one working with youth. Numbers, statistics, accomplishments – these are all important, but what they need more than anything is love. Knowing you love them means more to them than any fancy program or creative Bible study. It’s been said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care, and that’s especially true of teens. Loving them is the easiest thing you can do, but it also can be the hardest things to do. Some are naturally very easy to love, but it’s the other ones, the ones who are hardest to love, that really need your love the most. Seeing God’s unconditional love in operation through you is the only way they’ll really be attracted to Him. Jesus emphasized His love for His disciples over and over, and He showed it by washing their feet when they least deserved it. There are many ways in which we influence the youth we minister to, but loving them has the greatest and longest lasting impact of anything. You are never more like Jesus than when you are loving your kids!
1 Timothy 1:5-6, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 John 3:11, 18, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another…. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
- Who do you have the hardest time loving in your group? Ask God to live you His love for them, to see them through His eyes.
- When is the last time you have “washed the feet’” of those you minister to? What are some ways you can do that this week?
- Look at the character traits in 1 Corinthians 13 (patience, kindness, etc.) and pray individually for each one, asking God to help you in specific areas of need in your life.
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years now, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on February 3, 2008