Not back to normal…Back to Better. Hebrews is the BETTER book of the Bible. It uses the word Better 13 times.
1:4 Christ is Better | 6:9 Better things | 7:7 The less is Better | 7:19 A Better hope | 7:22 A Better Testament |
8:6 A Better covenant / promises | 9:23 Better sacrifice | 10:34 Heaven a better substance | 11:16 Heaven a better country | 11:35 A Better resurrection | 11:40 Some Better thing for us | 12:24 Speaketh better things
Jesus, Salvation, Heaven… are all better than anything we can think of in our finite earthly minds. As you begin this new year, I want you to think about things not getting back to normal. But how can things get back to… Better!? 2020 was tough. One of the toughest on record for many in the ministry, especially the youth ministry. I have spoken to YPs around the nation as things have changed in how we do church, ministry, soul winning and many other things we were so accustomed to doing. I have strategized, rationalized and cried with many YPs during this pandemic. But COVID is just one of many factors that impacted youth ministry. For many, it was the camel that broke the straw’s back (switch intended).
You see, when you’ve been at it for a number of years at the same church, youth ministry begins to open up and show you some patterns. One of those, is that just about the time you get to build a really strong teenager, they grow up and out of your youth group! It is one of the most difficult yet enjoyable parts of working with young people. Whether graduation, relocation or COVID in your youth department, every YP eventually faces what seems like a time of depletion and/or desertion. When that 5 Star Christian graduates and goes to Bible College leaving you to fend for yourself with a sea of 7th graders…When a super, serving family who helped in the Youth Department and had teens of their own informs you that they are leaving the church… When teens move away… When teens get jobs, play sports, have homework…. and neglect to come to church. When faithful teens stop coming to church… When teens begin going to other churches because of a boy/girl… When COVID hinders/shuts down your buses for a little while and a teens who were growing in grace are now back to living in the lust of their flesh…. When you see your numbers go down to 1/4 of what they were…. So what do we do? Hope for a return to normal… no way… I want to go back to better! So how can we?
Stop. Think about what better is. Better is not numbers. Better is not social status. Better is not marketability, notoriety or applause. If we are not careful, we can thrown onto the carousel of comparison that keeps us spinning around, looking at each others ups and downs. Reset. Better is Jesus. Better is Salvation. Better is Service, Sacrifice and Separation that come with Salvation.
Better is Heaven. Better is the Promises in the pages of the Word of God. Do you really want better? Reset. Better is not a pay increase, a person increase or a party increase. Better is a personal decrease so the Saviour, the Better, can increase. (John 3:36). Ever reset something? We don’t change it, we just set it back to its intended settings… We must
Reset. Reset Your Motives- Why are you doing this? Why are you a YP? Press Reset. Its wasn’t because of the fame or fortune… Reset. Reset Your Mind- Our culture is a cancel culture. If we cant change it, we cancel it. If you work a job, you must be careful not to see ministry as you do your 9-5. Your mind must be brought into the captivity of Christ. Captivity not cancellation. Reset your mind. Let this mind be in you… HIS mind. A Better mind. The Word of God. Press Reset. Reset Your Mastery- Going hard is what we do. The YP is usually the man of many hats in a church. However, cutting the grass, being the janitor or even office work, doesnt demand a reset. But for Youth Minsitry to be Better… there must be Reset of our Mastery… What are you going to strive to succeed at doing? What do you want to do better? To do well? To do the best? What area are you mastering? Reset and master Youth Ministry. That is our job. How do we get back to… BETTER? First we must reset… We must truly understand what Better means and make sure that our destination matches that definition.