It’s very easy to think that youth work is all about keeping young people entertained and happy. It isn’t. Young people deserve better – and we need to take them, their lives, their faith and their questions seriously. Young people don’t need us to be their friend – they often have enough already. They need us to be adults. Not boring. Not dull. But serious. After all Jesus takes them seriously. Shouldn’t we?
We can’t do everything for young people. We have limits. We need to sleep. We need rest. We need space for re-creation to help us rediscover our creator. We shouldn’t be available 24/7. After all as theologians remind us, young people don’t need us, they need Jesus.
Which brings me on to number 3 – theology. Young people ask some great questions. Often we have no idea what the answers should be. This is OK. But we need to be good theologians to help them ask even better questions and help everyone to discover God in those moments. We need to take seriously the study of God – and read/listen/think/question widely around our faith. We need to be learners who never stop learning!
We must take fun seriously too. Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness, and we should take this seriously. Enjoy the moments that we can. Live life fully and passionately. Smile. Laugh. Be serious when we need to. Laugh lots when we don’t. Plan it. Be spontaneous. But take fun seriously.
Next mailing will see another 4 things I wish youth leaders would take seriously. I just need to think of them first…