Be a Jedi Master for your students
I'm in the process of reading 'Jesus Centered Youth Ministry' by Rick Lawrence. I say process because this book is dense; only 168 pages long but dense. It packs a wallop of you will. There is so much to think about when you read something by Lawrence because he is a complicated man, and his brain works on levels unknown to most people. Don't believe me? Look up his bio.
While reading today I came across a conversation he had with Leonard Sweet and this is what they said:
RL: What are the changes that must happen for youth leaders who suspect there's a better way to do ministry?
LS: 'I tell youth pastors..., 'these kids need mentors. They do not need pied pipers. This is the first generation in history that does not need authority figures to access information. They don't need us to get the truth - what they need is mentoring. "Now that I can get it, help me. How do I live it? How do I perform it? How do i pray it?" That's the mentoring model. You can learn this stuff from Star Wars, for crying out loud. These Jedi Knights are spiritual masters. Thats what we need - knights of faith that can show our kids what it means to be a master of spiritual disciplines, a master of the spiritual life, a master of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.'
Leave it to people in ministry to find a connection between youth pastors and Jedi Knights...if only I had a lightsaber. Seriously though, I think the point he is trying to make is a good one. The purpose of Jedi Knights, besides guarding the universe against the evil sith, was to find, train, and develop new Jedi.
As youth pastors our job is quite similar, minus that whole sith thing. Our job is to find, train, and develop new disciples in Christ. In other words, we are to be mentors to young Christians. Students are literally crying out for positive adult influence in there lives, we need to be that influence, we need to be that mentor.
We don't have to be masters in the truest sense, but we do need to be committed, trustworthy, loyal, gracious and honest. And those are all qualities that don't require the Force, just a living breathing relationship with our Savior.