Reaching the next generation doesn’t happen without intentionality.
Many may hope or wish that students would come to know Jesus, but a desire turns into a plan when intentionality gets involved. Nehemiah, who upon learning that the walls and gates of Jerusalem were destroyed, mourned deeply over the lack of protection for the city. His mourning turned into a motivation to rebuild and restore. True brokenness doesn’t allow us to remain in the current state. It leads to an intentional mission.
When we become intentional in reaching the next generation, that intentionality produces focus. And focus can do much good. It produces the ability to push past obstacles, again seen in the story of Nehemiah who dealt with many attacks while rebuilding the temple. Focus also keeps us from just “wishing” or “hoping” that students will come to church. Focus creates plans to see students come under the influence of the Gospel and the goodness of the church. Focus causes us to ask the question, “What can we do?”
How does a leader become more deliberate in pursuing the next generation? One of the best ways is to be around like-minded ministers and leaders who share that strong desire. Collaboration with those who have the same heart will increase motivation, produce ideas and provide needed encouragement.
In November, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention in partnership with Camp Siloam and YM360 saw several youth ministers come together to discuss skills in reaching the next generation. Another youth minister roundtable will occur on Thursday, Feb. 9 at Ouachita Baptist University, where leaders will join Shane Pruitt from the North American Mission Board to further learn about this generation and create ideas on how to get the Gospel to them.
You can learn more about this event here, including registration information. Leaders uniting focuses and deepens an intentionality to minister to the next generation.
This article was written by Warren Gasaway, Church Health interim team leader/Student Ministry specialist with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.