At McKendree Youth Ministries, we are committed to bringing up a community of young believers that can stand together. As the scripture says, “A three-stranded rope is not easily snapped.”

McKendree Makes Much of People, not Programs

It doesn’t take an organized structure to do real ministry. Effective ministry can happen in our kitchens around a cup of coffee, or in our living rooms with our feet propped up on the coffee table. Today’s students are more impressed by adults who genuinely care about them than they are with overly organized and structured programs. Don’t get me wrong; I see great value in organization and structure.

Our Youth Ministry provides a fun, safe environment where middle and high school students can hang out together. We offer Sunday School directly after the 9:00 am service, beginning at 10:00 am and lasting for one hour.

It is our belief that as we foster relationships with the students, we will create a group of young Christian men and women who will be able to stand together for Christ.

We still get to be a part of building the kingdom of heaven, even right now. Let us not forget to encourage and support one another, lift each other up in prayer, and support those on the fringes. Our students are watching how we will navigate this time, and they are looking to be led. May we be vessels of mercy, grace, and peace towards those around us. May we lean into the presence of the Holy Spirit in this time.

Studies show that Teenagers spend, on average, 7 and a half hours a day on the internet. It’s safe to say, then, that teenagers live online. 

It is important to celebrate the small wins in our youth. It’s hard to grow a youth ministry beyond the vision of the church community in which it lives. 

But we know that’s not the calling Jesus has placed in our lives. So how do we balance “trusting God’s timing” in one hand and “expecting ‘greater things’” in the other?

  1. Jesus doesn’t need our strategy; he needs our dependence on him in relationship. Make time and space for Jesus to speak. What “greater thing” might Jesus be up to if we’re willing to pursue him?
  2. I realize how risky it was for Jesus to leave the gospel to the 11 disciples and the rest of his followers. Their track record wasn’t great, and they could’ve benefitted from a few more years of their Jesus-internship. Instead, Jesus gave them his Holy Spirit—2000+ years later Jesus is still a big deal. And that same Holy Spirit indwells the life of every student who follows Jesus. How can you release them to live into the “greater things” Jesus has promised?

Is there a way to celebrate “small wins” while still expecting “great things”? Our task as leaders is to hold this tension while modeling a life of chasing Jesus with trust and obedience. God is with you. God sees you. God is for you. Take heart and expect greater things.

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