Thursday, January 04, 2007

Looking into 2007

So, it’s a new year, God bless us all.

As I look into this coming year, I’m challenged, as always, to consider that my goals are for the year. In terms of ministry, I want to see progress made on what I call “the three M’s of youth ministry”, Mentoring, Milestones and Mission.

With mentoring in mind, I’m heading off to the Mainstream Leaders’ Conference next week. I’m really looking forward to engaging with what Philadelphia, Sheffield have been doing with LifeShapes, a programme for peer to peer mentoring. In the light of this and drawing on other materials, I’ll be creating a mentoring programme for every member of our youth ministry , followed, in time I hope, by every member of the church who wants it.

I’m also keen to place some intentional milestones into the coming year. I want to plan for the things that our youth and young adults will look back on as significant moments of learning, encounter and community. We need to know not just that God loves the world, but also how it feels to be part of God’s expression of that love, by practical service, community building or meaningful worship expressions.

The context for all of this ought to be one of mission too. I’m not sure that we’ve really begun to grasp the implications of moving away from any idea that we live in a Christian society, and to change our thinking to the extent that we view the wider culture much as Peter, Paul, Priscilla, Aquilla and the early church did as they travelled, debated, conversed, loved, befriended, worked and prayed in order that God’s kingdom might be established, strengthened and extended.

I want to move our youth and young adults away from the idea that we’re about perpetuating the local church, and into a deeper understanding that we’re about kingdom building, because we live in a screwed up world, a world that is changed not by becoming nice and joining us on Sunday, but by having a revelation of the love, grace and power of Jesus.

So Mentoring, Milestones and Mission, ought to be an interesting year I think.

God bless you as you hear him call you into 2007 with a passion and purpose.

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