The Vision for 2009-2010

11 09 2009

Vision for 2009-2010

There are five ideas that come to mind when I envision the direction of our youth ministry; mission, worship, collaboration, spiritual formation/ growth, and evangelism.  My vision for 2009-2010 from here on out is to see those ideas become practical realities in the life our youth ministry. The first question is what and why. What do they mean and why are they important? The second question is how do they play out practically?

What and why?

The vision for Mission is to continue to foster in our students a value for doing what Paul calls “good works” which is indeed what we were created to do (Ephesians 2:10) and a deep love for our neighbors in need. Learning Mission in our group is learning the mission of the church which is to continuously and specifically ask the questions, what does God’s kingdom look like? What might the world look like if God’s dream for it was realized?  It’s looking hard at the world around us, including all the need and all the pain, and calling God’s healing and restorative kingdom into reality there. Our students will continue to learn and build upon what they’ve learned about mission.

The vision for worship is that the students will continue to learn what it means to worship God and to worship not just for an hour on Sunday or for 15-20 minutes at youth group but to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) and to worship God with their whole lives, offering themselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).

Collaboration means remembering that we’re in this together, not just our church family but the whole family of Christ’s church. We’ll learn and discover that there are all kinds of Christians all learning to follow Jesus in all different ways even in Ramona. We’ll also learn to be open to and in dialogue with all different ways of following Christ. This doesn’t mean we’re always going to agree and it doesn’t even mean we’ll try to agree. It means learning to disagree well and to find the things we do agree on and can partner in. However difficult and uncomfortable it may get we will not “give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) and we will continue to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) even though we may be different.

The vision for spiritual formation is that our students will take spiritual disciplines like reading scripture, prayer, silence, meditation, and fasting seriously and that our students will invest themselves and their energy into their Christian spiritual formation. They will learn to be intentional in their walk with Christ, not just waiting for God to come to them but truly seeking to discover God in their lives on a daily basis and seeking to be transformed by God in an intentional way lest they be transformed accidentally by the mundane patterns of this world (Romans 12:2).

The vision for evangelism is not that our students will become evangelical extremists, looking to get everyone “saved” as fast as they can without regard for love but that they will learn to share their faith with their friends considerately, honestly, enthusiastically, and openly. Students will learn a passion for “sharing with all people the reality of God’s saving love,” as our mission statement puts it, and they will understand the importance of doing so. They will also learn that evangelism is about discipleship, making true disciples (Matthew 28:19) and not just getting people to think like us.

How

Putting these ideas into practice means teaching about them so our students really understand the why and what before they ever do the how. It also means modifying the calendar accordingly. Our calendar will not look very different from last year since the vision is primarily building off of last year. Like last year we’ll aim to have at least one fun event every month for each group and one mission event every other month. In addition, we’ll be more intentional about having at least three or four collaborative events with other churches in Ramona and San Diego. We’re also going to transition to music worship in youth group (as soon as I find a good worship leader). For evangelism we’ll not only make space and events for students to invite their friends but we’ll also encourage students to be open about their faith on campus by getting more involved with the campus Christian clubs.

All of this is designed to take us one step further in the direction God is leading us.

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