Youth Ministry That Lasts a Lifetime
by Richard Ross
“Youth ministry that doesn’t last a lifetime doesn’t matter very much.”
The real criteria for evaluating youth ministry is this question: Are we consistently introducing teenagers to Jesus and then discipling them into believers who will, for a lifetime, love God, love people, and make disciples for the glory of God?
Everyone who evaluates youth ministry needs to ask a new set of questions. The issue really is not: How is our youth group doing today? Instead, the core question is: How will our youth group be doing for a lifetime?
Most youth pastors love King Jesus supremely and do their work tirelessly. But by employing a sixty-year-old model of youth ministry, the great majority of church teenagers are not becoming world-changing disciples as adults.
Is the church willing to give up comfortable youth ministry for a radically new model that is likely to lead many more teenagers to lifetime faith?
About the Author
Richard Ross is professor of student ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is husband to LaJuana and father to Clayton. Ross served as a youth pastor for 30 years and as a youth ministry volunteer ever since. Ross also served as the youth ministry consultant for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is the cofounder of the True Love Waits purity movement and has spoken in more than 500 churches and conferences.