I constantly battle my tendency to carefully wrap my kids in bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and clearly mark the package fragile. It is a trend that is setting our students up for failure. We are preparing the road for our children rather than preparing our children for the road ahead. As a result, we are raising a generation obsessed with safety.
We, as youth leaders, need to live missional and invite students into that space. Invite them into the challenges, the successes, and the failures. Invite them to follow your example as you seek to follow Christ. And then provide them opportunities to lead others. Show them what it means to see the world as Jesus does so they don’t merely strive to just successfully survive the world, but transform it and redeem it for the kingdom of God.
Why do we want more kids coming to youth group? Because we want to introduce them to Jesus, we want to establish positive relationships with them, and we want to disciple them into the next stages of their lives. Which is precisely the point. Right? Yes, but I still think it is the wrong question.
We all want to make disciples, but how can we measure success and failure?
Discipleship is not a moment. It is a process. It requires patience, investment, heartache, and the hard conversation.