So after writing my last post I took a bit of my own medicine and asked some of those questions of the youth ministry here and what came out of those answers was this: we really, really stink at local missions. And that falls squarely on my shoulders. Looking back over the past 15 months, it is clear that I have not made this a priority at all for our ministry. It always seemed to be one of those things that I wanted to do but always let slip through the cracks. This is sad because, despite my track record, I believe that local missions is extremely important, for a number of reasons.
1. It teaches students the importance of serving others in the name of God.
2. It allows our students to know how blessed they are and see that the world, even in their own community, can be a harsh and cruel place.
3. It gives them the opportunity to practically and tangibly live out what they say they believe.
4. It is a great way to evangelize.
For all these reasons, and more, I would really like to make local missions more of a focal point for our youth ministry. We have plans to work with a local missions group that provides food, clothes, school supplies and Bible studies to local families in need and this excites me very much. But I know that there are other ways to serve our community as well and I would like to search them out.
What are ways that you're youth ministry and/or church can provide for the physical and spiritual needs of your community?