pastoral leadership youth ministry

Desired Outcomes for Youth Ministry

24Jesus Creed recently alerted me to a post by Jen Bradbury on “Outcome Based Education” for our youth groups. She asks youth ministers what they hope their students will take away from our ministry before they graduate on to college.  Read her full POST here. Otherwise, I thought she nailed all of the “biggies” I certainly desire to instill in the students in our senior high youth group:

By the end of four years in my ministry, I want my youth

– To have a relationship with Christ.

– To “own” their faith. I want for their faith to be theirs, and not mine, or that of their parents, or even that of our church. I want my youth to leave confident in their faith so that they can withstand the hurdles that other people will intentionally and unintentionally throw at it.

– To be unafraid of questions and doubts.

– To understand “imago dei” theology & treat others with the dignity & respect that comes from knowing they’re created in God’s image.

– To appreciate other Christian denominations, viewing them not as our competition or enemies but rather as our brothers & sisters in Christ. I want my youth to understand that we can learn from the different beliefs, worship styles, and traditions that exist in Christian denominations.

– To understand their role in the Body of Christ and to know that even as youth and young adults, they’re not just the future of the church, they ARE the church.

– To understand the importance of intergenerational community within the Body of Christ and to know, have relationships with, and value the Saints in our faith community.

– To be connected to a faith-based community that loves, supports, and guides them in their faith.

– To be committed to the local church and to know how to be a part of it – not just by attending it, but by serving it.

– To be connected to a non-parental, caring adult who has mentored them in their faith.

– To have discovered their gifts and understand how to use them to glorify & honor God.

– To be committed to living out their faith by serving others – not just during a week long summer mission trip, but wherever they are throughout their daily lives and in their own communities.

– To know how to advocate on behalf of the least of these.

– To know how to listen to others.

– To be Biblically literate and to have an understanding of the Bible as a story, not just as a rule book, science book, or encyclopedia.

– To understand the basic theology of their faith.

– To appreciate creation and know how to be a good steward of it.

– To be a critic of the cultural around them and yet to be unafraid of that culture and willing to contribute to it by creating their own art.

– To understand how their faith influences their perception of current events & vice versa.

– To understand that their faith is a journey, not a destination and that as such, it will always be evolving and growing.

Thanks for sharing your goals Jen. Reading through this list reminds me of how meaningful my current role is and how daunting the task. I’m grateful to be at a church where I am surrounded by so many parents, volunteers and supporters who understand the high value of student ministry and who invest in partnering with us in this worthy endeavor. What other goals would you add to this hefty list of desired outcomes?  

Well, I better get back to work!  Wednesday night is coming fast!   

Dr. Jeremy Berg is the founding and Lead Pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Minnetonka Beach, MN, where he has served since 2010. He an Adjunct Professor of Theology at North Central University (Minneapolis) and Professor of Bible & Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy earned a doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary. He and his wife, Kjerstin, have three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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