praying for: youth

It isn’t enough to raise your children in church; you must raise them in Christ.
~Rick Warren

It’s September.

That’s just totally surreal.

It marks the beginning of Tom’s third month in the pulpit, and it marks the beginning of a month I’m taking to pray specifically for youth at our church. I, along with several church leaders, have a strong sense that God is calling us to do something…we just don’t know what it is.

Tom and I have been discussing youth programming and goals, to the point that I think he’s probably tired of it already. We are wanting to be very intentional, as well as very careful of not starting anything that isn’t fully ready to go. It’s not going to profit anyone for us to throw some half-baked ideas out, only to have them flounder.

So far, my main prayers are:

  • That we find a way to work in partnership with the family, and not focus solely on youth. Fifteen years married to a youth pastor has taught me that youth ministry is as much about the family as it is the youth. And no youth ministry has a chance of succeeding without parental support.
  • That we be able to reach into a small, agricultural community that doesn’t necessarily value church attendance, with many broken and fractured families. I feel as if we’re starting from scratch.
    In so many ways.
  • Music is a necessity, and I have no idea how to make that happen in this very small town. Our music ministry at church consists of several members that play the piano and organ – I’d love to find someone willing to offer up one night a week to lead more current/youth oriented worship, and it might just take a miracle to find them.
  • We’re currentkt have a youth Sunday school that is handouts and Bible stories, but I’m absolutely convinced that we’re going to need an all new paradigm. Conversational, real life, Bible based, applicable and speaking to the lives of kids in Dos Palos.

Easy, right?

I know.

Not exactly.

I’m reading Think Orange by Reggie Joiner to get more of a vision of what this family and church partnership can look like, preparing myself to lead a small group of youth should there be need when Starting Point begins next week and asking our church to pray as well on Sunday.

I’m praying that God would develop a vision and a plan, that we would be open to any crazy ideas.

I’m praying that when the time comes, we’re ready and able to move forward.

And I’m praying for the youth of this community. Meth is a huge problem here. Gangs are a big issue. The unemployment rate is astronomical – I believe one of the highest in the country. Our school district is a bit of a mess due to budget issues.

The youth of this town need to know Jesus, and I’m committed to doing what He calls me toward that purpose.

Will you please join me in praying this month?