When pastors or youth leaders sit to talk about their ministries and results achieved, inevitably they will mention events and parties that have impacted several students, the last summer camp or their last big outreach event. Talking a lot about events can be an indicator of a focus more aimed on programs than people.
I have pastored youth and young adults for a few years and came to the conclusion that we need to focus on two things with the people God has entrusted us: identity and purpose.
Your youth group can be starting with only you plus one more student or you could already be pastoring 500 students. The size does not matter if you are focused on discipling and teaching your student to find their identity and purpose in Christ.
One of the practical ways to teach about this subject is talking about paternity. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God has given us access to a Perfect Father who wants to imprint His Image and Identity in us as His beloved children. Besides that, Jesus’s gospel is constantly inviting us to a life of purpose centered in loving God and loving people through our service to one another and making our Father’s name known wherever He send us.
God’s paternity give us four aspects that will realign our lives to the identity and purpose He has dreamt for us:
There are many students struggling to define their live’s priorities because they did not have an earthly father as a good example of the role of the men in their families and homes.
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. This verse helps us think about where we are investing our treasure, our time and our
resources, in other words, wherever we place our time and resources it is our priority.
God helps us realign our hearts to think about eternal things as a priority and to invest our resources in people’s lives.
Every Father has the instinct of protecting their family. We have to be aware that
many of our youth have not experienced this kind of protection whether it is emotional or physical.
We need to help them find this protection in God, our Perfect Father. He is The One who is with us even when we go through the valley of the shadow of death. He knows every detail of our being and with Him our present and future are protected.
We need to help our students understand that after being heavenly adopted we are invited to enjoy the provision that comes directly from the hands of our Father.
He is faithful to His promises and He will provide all of our needs according to His riches and glory. He is also the one who promised that through the Holy Spirit we would receive power.
Our Father is an unending source of provision for His children.
God has called each one of us to be the light of the world. And Jesus has said that we would do even bigger works than he did while He was here. So Jesus desires to project us to live the essence of His Kingdom of Heaven in this earth. What a wonderful invitation, to live as ambassadors of Christ proclaiming His Kingdom.
As a youth leader, God has called you to be their influencer and with His Holy Spirit you will build their character based on God’s identity for them so they can live out their purpose. If a few students of our youth groups understand this calling we will have a lot to celebrate!
Rafael Martins, KGM Ordained Minister