After working with students for a really long time now, this last week of meetings and conversations with both current and former students has me on my knees again. Probably never should have left there... but that's another blog post.
Theologically, methodologically, and practically speaking... there's lots of "new" in my youth ministry thinking these days.
I have at least 10 questions I'm asking now that I wasn't asking when I started this phase of my life (or at least I couldn't have articulated them if I did).
- How can I create an environment where students can think about faith genuinely and live out their faith intentionally?
- Is it even possible to raise 5 teenagers in one home who love Jesus and serve God in a way that is both genuine and owned as an individual? What kind of parent do I need to be if that is going to be a reality for my family?
- What is the effect of facebook, social networking, and computer screens on a faith and community?
- Why do so many of our students date people who don't share a common faith system with them?
- Is the good ol' fashion work ethic really that old fashioned? Why are so many young adults around me just plain lazy?
- Why are homosexual and lesbian lifestyles increasingly being embraced by students and how can I create an environment where this is openly discussed like any other decision/issue students face?
- Do my own kids want me to be their youth pastor? What are the benefits and dangers inherent in that?
- If faith is more caught than taught, what characteristics are contagious in me and the ministry around me? What is being "caught", regardless of what is "taught"?
- What am I doing as a norm in ministry that I will genuinely have to apologize to the next generation of youth pastors for?
- The Bible, plain and simple, is not being read by well over 90% of the students in my ministry. Period. Is there anything I can do to change that?