This is the seventh post in my series The 9 Dynamic Ways To Revive Your Youth Ministry. You can start at the beginning here
One of the most powerful movie moments I can remember is from the movie The Abyss. It stars Ed Harris and the scene is Harris’ character Virgil Brigman breaking down while trying to revive his drowned ex-wife.
3:37 -8:30 (some nudity and language)
Youth Pastor’s (and Pastors of all kinds) have fought for their youth ministries and churches like this. They’ve tried to breath new life into, banged on its chest, blew into its mouth, slapped it in the face and screamed at it at the top of their lungs. Some youth ministries respond to that and for others we have to call the time of death.
If youth ministries were only like movies. They play like one, but the endings vary greatly.
Revival doesn’t mean numbers. Numbers can be an offshoot of a youth ministry experiencing revival but it by no means the only indicator.
A youth ministry can be dead and have 100 kids in it. Numbers are not the only indicator of life. Revival means to bring back what was once dead.
Passion for worship
Hunger for the Word
A new love for God and others
This kind of revival doesn’t require numbers to validate it, but a youth ministry revived has a better chance at growing than a dead one. Revival doesn’t come so the youth ministry can grow, revival comes because a loving God wants to have a passionate relationship with our students, growth is a by-product.
If you watched the video, everyone is surrounding Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Someone is pumping the air bag, someone is charging the paddles, someone is doing chest compressions. The others are waiting, hoping, praying.
I have seen a few ministries under my own leadership die. In some cases, it was me, alone, trying to bring the group back to life. I preached, I prayed, I outreached, but nothing. It’s possible that even the best teams couldn’t have resurrected these youth ministries, but too many youth ministries don’t have resurrected leaders or teams. The dead cannot bring back the dead.
As grim as this sounds, dead youth ministries can come back to life but it will require a team who themselves are alive in Christ. The team must work together to bring revival, not revival for numbers sake but revival so God might receive the glory.
If you want to revive your youth ministry, you need a team who is alive, working together, won’t give up, has some fight in them and when that youth ministry does come back to life, they’ll look at each other, cry, rejoice, and look at each other with a knowing glint that God has done this and not we ourselves.
If you need help revitalizing your youth ministry, be sure to check out my coaching program Ministry Minded. Ministry Minded is three months of you being equipped, trained and inspired to build a sustainable youth ministry that makes disciples.
Part Eight: Letting Parents Power Your Youth Ministry