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KurtJohnston

Kurt Johnston has been a youth pastor since 1988 and currently leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted voices in youth ministry, Kurt loves to encourage other youth workers and has written and created over 50 books and resources with that goal in mind. In his free time, Kurt enjoys surfing and riding dirt bikes in the desert with his wife and two children.

Every Christian in your church loves teenagers. They have to, they’re Christians, and Christians love each other.  In fact, you’ve probably heard them declare their love:

 

“Oh, those crazy kids in the youth group…we love ‘em in the Lord!”

Possible Translation: We don’t have a choice. We have to love them because they are part of God’s family, too.

 

“We love our teenagers so much we built them a youth room.”

Possible Translation: We built you your own space so you won’t mess ours up.

 

And while it’s noble for folks to will themselves to “love” the students in your youth group, and building a youth room is a wonderful way to resource the youth group, there is actually a better way to truly love teenagers: LIKE THEM!

Don’t tolerate them. Don’t try to change them. Don’t preach at them. Don’t use them.  Like them. Really like them.

Teenagers need adults in their lives who understand they are insecure and like them anyway.

Teenagers need adults in their lives who recognize they are gonna make a bunch of stupid mistakes and like them anyway.

Teenagers need adults in their lives who understand the wacky adolescent development process they are going through and like them anyway.

Teenagers need adults in their lives who know they are gonna doubt their faith and struggle to follow Jesus and like them anyway.

Teenagers need adults in their lives who love them, and want to walk alongside them on their Jesus journey, and one of the most important roles of a youth worker is to help build a team of those types of adults.

But, If you want to build a team of youth workers who love teenagers, start by finding people who like them too.

Thanks for liking students!

Kurt

@kurtjohnston

1 COMMENT

  • Han says:

    This is a great idea! We don’t have much talk to parents on caluurtl things. So this is a simple great way to get them in the know . I only wish I could see the rest of it!

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