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I came across this video with Self Help Guru Tony Robbins where he shares about appearance and what makes charismatic people so attractive.

Watch the video and then read about the principle that could make your  youth ministry more magnetic.

Isaiah 53:2 says

So, Jesus was nothing special to look at. He looked like every other Jew of his day. We are attracted and sometimes mesmerized by beautiful people. Jesus did not attract people to Himself because of his appearance or style; it was his character that drew people to Him.

Jesus was not the only rabbi of his day. There were dozens and dozens people cold choose from. Some were charismatic and others wise. Our youth ministry’s appearance is a small selling point to why kids want to come to our youth group. On the outside we all look the same. Our “appearance:, logos, coffee bar, t-shirts,  and video games may get them in the door but it will not keep them.

So what are some of the qualities Tony mentions that we must first embody as the leader that will make our youth ministry attractive and magnetic?

Not Obsessed Over Things He Could Not Control

Well , Jesus could control a number of things, like, the weather, “Peace be still” but  the number one thing he could not control was how people reacted or responded to him. Jesus never manipulated anyone. It was Jesus’ character, confidence, and willingness to do for others that drew people to him.

We can’t control who shows up but we can control how we treat the ones who do show up.

We can’t control what others will think of our youth ministry but we can minimize bad impressions.

We can’t control how kids will respond to the gospel but we can faithful to preach it sincerely.

If we choose to be ourselves and not worry about what others will think, say and do we will draw teens to us and our youth ministry with the possibility of keeping them.

Focused On What He Could Do

Jesus made his claims out loud.

I have come to serve not to be served.

I have come for the sick not the well.

I have come to preach good news to the poor and set the captive free.

He stuck to his plan. He focused on his mission. He did not waste a moment talking about what he could not do. Even in his home town of Nazareth, he could only do a few miracles because the faith of the people was so small, but a few miracles he did do. he didn’t say, “If I cant heal everyone, no one is getting healed.”. He focused on what he could do not what he couldn’t.

Focus on what you can do. Lean into your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Generosity

It’s easy to be generous to those who are generous to us. Jesus was generous to those who would never be able to repay him.

He gave his touch to lepers

He gave his protection to prostitutes.

He gave his attention to sinners.

Generosity is not about giving our money or possessions to others, that’s the easy part. Jesus had no earthly possessions to speak of to give away so He gave himself; not the leftovers but the best of Himself to everyone who needed Him.

You probably don’t have a big budget to wow your kids anyway but you can

  • Do small things in an excellent way
  • Invest your time into relationships online and off with kids and adults
  • Give away affirmations and encouragements.

Playful

Jesus welcomed the playful. The disciples were like the secret service to the president. They were always trying to protect Him from annoyances and intrusions. One times some children want to come to Jesus and the disciples tried to block them possibly thinking that Jesus was way too important to meet with kids; but Jesus not only welcomed them but used them as an example the disciples on how to have child-like faith.

Be playful, whimsical, quit being so serious as if the world will cave in if this event doesn’t work or that program fails. Be light-hearted, love kids, and let them see you care more about them than the program.

Warm

If you are online much you may have noticed there’s can be an air of harshness running around. Even among our teens. People say what they want to say when they want to say it and they do not care who hears it or how it impacts them. Jesus was warm. He was disarming to those who had their doubts. When the prostitute came and washed Jesus feet with the expensive oil, the Pharisees rebuked him saying “If you knew what kind of woman this was…”. Well, Jesus knew, and loved her any way, welcoming her worship and even made the promise that her story.  would live on forever.

Be warm in your welcome of new students

Be warm when you have to discipline (disciple)

Be warm when you are facing conflict.

Warmness will eventually melt the coldest heart.

Sincerity

Jesus spoke with sincerity and showed his feelings about those he loved. He wept at Lazarus’ funeral. He was sad when the rich young ruler dissed him. Jesus came after Peter and asked him “Do you love me?”.  Jesus acted with a sincere heart and we can to. If we will put away our sarcasm and  a “what’s in it for me” people will be drawn to our genuine desire to help them.

Romans says to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Feel with kids. Don’t just tel them to “get over it”. Feel with them, be empathetic and they will see it’s o.k. to be open and honest with you.

Loving

Jesus was loving, all the way to cross. He loved the thief on the cross into heaven. He forgave those who crucified him with his final breaths. Jesus loved in word and deed. There is not faking love. Love is clear. Love is evident. Love is a verb. Love people and people will be drawn to us because there is so little love to go around.

Kids know if you love then, hate them, or simply endure them. Make your love very Jesus and for them clear in word and deed.

Then there’s the other list which best describes That Other Guy,

Always complaining, whining, blaming, fearful, and worrisome.

The difference is stark and our youth ministry’s will often be a mix of both kinds of people; but the youth ministry that looks more like Jesus wins.

If you have a youth ministry that is struggling, take Tony’s advice and scale down your expectations and be more appreciative of what you have who comes. When I quit expecting my youth ministry to grow, and quit getting angry and pout when they didn’t, and became more appreciative of them, it changed everything.

Kids have choices. They can go to any youth group in your city. The youth ministry that looks and lives most like Jesus will be the most attractive youth group in town.

Your Turn

Which characteristics does your church or youth ministry display most?

Which one characteristic do you need to work on most?

If you the majority of your group displayed these qualities (starting with you) how would that impact your organization?

 

 

 

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