Giving youth pastors the tools they need to make and shape disciples.

You Have Permission To Create The Imperfect Youth Ministry

4 · 08 · 13

I watched the documentary Indie Game on Netflix (warning, it has potty words) this weekend and walked away with a cool quote, in three parts, about creating something personal, It comes from Jonathan Blow, a game designer,

“Part of it (game creation) is about  not trying to be professional, like a lot of people come into indie games trying to be a big game company. What those game companies do is create highly polished things that serve as a large as an audience as possible, …that creation of this highly glossy commercial product is the opposite of making something personal.”

How many youth pastors or pastors are thing to be the big, glossy, flaw free company. They have plans to be Perry Noble or Steven Furtick. In video game terms, they are considered the Death Stranding (it was a top selling video game in 2019) of church and many churches want to emulate these, seemingly, flaw free churches.

I am sure Perry and Steven would both disagree that their churches have no flaws. If we are trying to create the flaw free youth ministry, to serve the greatest amount of people, we risk not making something personal and authentic. Kids know when they are being squeezed and molded into something impersonal and inauthentic.

“Things that are personal have flaws, they have vulnerabilities. If you don’t see a vulnerability in somebody, you are probably not relating to them on a personal level. “

This just speaks for itself. Make ministry personal. Relationships often hurt and your flaws will be revealed, but don’t let that stop you from being personal.

Making it (the game) was about taking my deepest flaws and vulnerbiliteis and saying, “let’s put them in a game and let’s see what happens.”

Covering up our mistakes and flaws to make the perfect youth ministry (or the image of one) is ridiculous. Our kids  see our flaws every meeting. Our families see them every day. We confuse what Jesus said, when he said,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingb her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

This is not talking about our youth ministry’s flaws and the banishment of them. It’s talking about our sins. Our human frailties will remain all the way up to the coming of Christ.

Guess what

  • your youth program will never be flawless
  • your family will never be flawless
  • your message will never be flawless
  • your bible study will never be flawless
  • your marriage will never be flawless

So, what. Embrace it. Go ahead and preach on Song of Solomon or Revelation, do that outrageous outreach, start that ministry, go to marriage counseling if the relationship is not working, it won’t be a flawless experience, but it will be personal.

Are you obsessed with perfection? Are you trying to create the flaw free youth ministry? Is perfectionism draining your passion for ministry and for God? Tell me about it below.

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