This is an important time of year. It is a time filled with celebration, parties, and transition. It is a time when many people transition from one phase of life to another. It is a season in which many young people are excited, yet anxious; parents are both rejoicing and mourning; and teachers take a collective deep breath.
If you are like most congregations, you have ministries aimed at serving your younger members. In many youth ministries, we tend to spend a great deal of time producing programs for our students. But what would happen if congregations began investing less time building ministries for students and instead developed methods to serve with students? What would it look like to equip students for leadership roles in the church and empower them to serve?
Working in a church can be time-consuming.
Working in a church is time-consuming.
We live in a culture of on-demand television. Twenty-four-hour news cycles. 140 character posts on Twitter. Snapchat and Instagram messages that are here for ten seconds, then (seemingly) gone forever. Six-second videos on Vine (which is now defunct anyway). The list could go on and on and on. There is more information available to us at a moment’s notice than at any time in history. And while there are many effects of this cultural shift, one of the most noticeable and impactful changes it has brought about is that people have shorter attention spans than ever before.
If you had known me in 2014, you would know that the idea of me running a marathon seemed farfetched. Laughable, even. I was overworked, exhausted, and out of shape, and I had never run a single mile in my life—let alone 26.2. Yet, through the encouragement of my wife (thanks, Jess!), a dear friend (thanks, Emma!), and countless other supporters, I began training in an effort to turn around my physical condition and complete what seemed to be an impossible task.