Too Old for Youth Ministry?
Yesterday one of my former youth leaders posted a picture online of the current youth group. I commented that I didn't know anyone and how it had been a long time since I was in youth group. This began an online conversation with some of the youth about when I was last in youth group. I told them that I had graduated in 2001 and was now a pastor at another church a few hours away. Their comment was "Wow you're old!"
This got me thinking, maybe I am old? I mean I am 27, which is almost 30. My current youth call me old. So am I too old for youth ministry? Have I become irrelevant to the youth culture because of my age? How can I lead the youth into a deeper relationship with Jesus if I am not hip to the current lingo and style of dress and technology?
Yet, I realized something. It isn't about age and relating to the kids via their favorite band.
It is more important to know a youth's name than to know their favorite band's name.
When a youth knows that someone out there cares about them because of who they are, not who they like, they will look past age, gender, economic status, skin color, handicap, and everything else so that they can continue to connect with that adult.
The average youth has 0 people who are not forced/payed to like them. They have parents, coaches, and teachers but all of them are required to be around that youth. So then, those people will pretend to like them by liking their music, clothes, etc...
If a youth leader actually likes the youth simply because they are a person this creates a trust and connection that will open the doors to Jesus who loves us and them simply because they were created and not because of their stuff.
So then, you are too old for youth ministry until you forget that it is about the youth and not the culture.
About Rev. BT Gilligan
Hi, thanks for looking for more information on me. My name is BT Gilligan I am a United Methodist Pastor outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I have been doing youth ministry for ten years and I love every second of it. I have a wonderful wife and two wonderful children.
Everything I am and everything I have is because of Jesus it is to Him that I owe all of this.
If you like what you read you are welcome to read my personal blog at www.divinecrash.com where you can find access to my sermons and my non-youth ministry thoughts.
I am also available for speaking engagements, if you would like to arrange that please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact page on my blog.