The second speaker in the symposium was Johnny Derouen, Youth Ministry prof at SWBTS…
Perhaps I missed it, but I'm not sure Dr. D addressed the same questions as the others. But that's fine. What Johnny talked about was very timely and appropriate. And I think we all needed to hear it. I know I did. The bold type below are his statements; the italics are my interpretation and application. Aplogies to Johnny if I heard something other than what he said… 🙂
1. Youth Pastors need to pursue purity. Purity and holiness are job one. When sin controls your life, you lose the ability to hear God's voice. Your walk is affected. Your marriage is affected. And your ministry is sabotaged. Jesus said, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3) In other words, the poor in spirit know they are bankrupt without His grace and holiness. Our knowledge is poop, and our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is 64:6). It's not enough. The right stuff doesn't matter if your personal walk with God is jacked.
2. There is no call to prayer. We don't teach our parents/youth/workers to get on their face before God and cry out in prayer…and we don't do it ourselves. 1 Chron 7:14—you pray and God will heal. Start by praying on our faces/knees for God to move. Be reminded that our wisdom is not enough.
3. We need the parents to be the main discipler of students. Parent ministry is NOT having a parent meeting. It is informing/encouraging/training them to build disciples of their children. That may not be the job of the youth minister only, but perhaps the senior pastor, children's pastor and/or the education minister. Design creative ministries to reach unchurched families and spiritual orphans.
4. Equipping youth workers to train other parents…even unchurched ones.
5. Equip students. Teach them theology so they can change the world, teach them to love God with their mind, soul, strength, and equip them for missions/service, and teach them spiritual disciplines.
6. No involvement in the church body. Back in the day, when a child became 12 years old they were considered to be an adult …IN THE CHURCH…not 'the church of the future'. Give them responsibilities and involvement in areas outside your student ministry.
7. No plan for discipleship. What should our youth know when they graduate? Juniors and Seniors should be at a point where they are passing discipleship down to younger students/adults. Discipleship is a lifelong process…balance your ministry.
Thoughts before Part Three??