The bird on the right came to visit my family last weekend. It is a Racing Homing Pigeon (yes, people do this) that had lost its way. It was tame enough that we could capture it, and then read the identification on its leg band to try and locate its owner. We did manage to locate the club that the bird came from. It was a bird from a club in New Carlisle, Ohio. This poor bird was over 200 miles from its home! We fed it some wild bird seed and gave it clean water. After two days, it had regained enough strength that it took off and is hopefully on its way back home.
Cool story,… I know. This story got me thinking about what we do in youth ministry. We have students for an undefined amount of time before they go elsewhere. Whether it is to another church, another town, off to college, or into the adult world. At most, we are looking at six years of their lives. Youth workers need to have the same vision – “What can we do to give this student the best Biblical Foundation in the very short time we are teaching this student?” Here are my three suggestions.
Capture them – Capture their attention with the story of grace found in the Gospel. A challenge that Dare2Share has presented youth workers for years is to take at least 5 minutes every youth group meeting to share the Gospel. You never know who will need to hear it that night…
Feed them – Give solid teaching and resources that presents a Biblical worldview. Games are great, games are needed. Games in youth group are like Ice Cream – a bit does the job, and is not a great substitute for your meal.
Water them – Encouragement is what so many teenagers thirst for in today’s world. Many are so dehydrated, that they do not know what real honest encouragement looks like. So they look for any attention they can get. Many find it in the wrong places. Offer honest, Godly encouragement.