What Don’t You Want

Goal setting and having a clear vision can be tricky. Sometimes it’s tough to articulate what your mind’s eye sees.

It can be frustrating; you have a sense of what the vision for your life, business, church, youth ministry is supposed to look like, but you’re having trouble writing it out.

In his book Crossing Over, author and pastor Paul Scanlon challenges his readers to identify what they don’t want before considering what they do want.

This helped me out a few years ago and I wonder if it will help you out as well. I’ll use the next few weeks to post about the kind of youth church I see. The only catch is that each piece of vision will begin with what I don’t want to see.

After observing our youth ministry and other youth ministries around us I came up with a list of seven things I didn’t want our youth ministry to be. I follow each observation with a statement of what I do want to see.

Observation 1: Many youth churches are full of lazy worshipers and bad note takers.

Have you seen this? The youth band begins the service and students stare blankly at them as if they were from another planet. The worship leader has seemingly two choices:

1. Close his/her eyes and lead as if no one is actually there. Or
2. Scold all in attendance and ask the interrogating question, “You can cheer at a football game, so why can’t you get excited for Jesus?”

Neither response is very effective and most times leaders neglect to realize that the audience’s reaction is a reflection of their enthusiasm and intensity for the worship set.

On bad note takers, doesn’t it drive you insane when you get done speaking and you find leftover notes on the ground? Often times you’ll see things written on them like, “Do you like him? Or do you like him, like him?”

Or how about the classic, “Will you go out with me? Check yes, no, or maybe.” You’ve just given your best eight point message on the seven churches in Revelation and students have the audacity to not take notes on it!

My response: …the youth church I see worships whole heartedly. The worship is interactive and experiential. The youth church I see is writing and producing music. It is raising up worship leaders who are looked to when it comes to cutting edge music. The youth church I see is full of people that are engaged in the message. When God’s word is shared it is met with hearts ready to apply it and put it into practice. The audience is compelled to interact with the worship leader and speaker in the youth ministry I see.

John 4:23
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

Romans 12:2
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

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