Ali Campbell writes a cracking article on theresource.org.uk:
This post is not about the expectations of a 12 year old joining a youth ministry programme. This post is about our expectations as those leading youth ministry of 12 year olds.
What will they do? What do they know? Will they hack it after “just” being on the receiving end of children’s ministry?
We need to lift our eyes, our dreams, our hopes and our expectations higher!
An example from my own experience and then a look at Jesus ::
Daniel and David.
No, I don’t mean Daniel and David of the Bible. I mean Daniel (aged 7) and David (aged 8) who gobsmacked me some years ago now when I was leading some children’s work at a Christian holiday. These two lads bounded up to me one morning and declared, “God has been speaking to us through dreams and pictures!” They then talked about the dreams (pretty stonking stuff) and asked me what they meant. I was stumped, how could I know? Being spiritual though I suggested they “go and pray about it some more and ask God to show you what they mean.” (ha, got out of that one!)
Off the went. That night they excitedly returned and proceeded to tell me that God had told them what the dreams meant and that they were being asked to “pray for leaders, so being a leader can you get as many leaders together as you can so we can pray for them?” (ouch, that will teach me!)
I said yes. That night I had gathered about 100 leaders from the children’s programme and these two boys arrived with their embarrassed looking mums. They then proceeded to pray for the next 40 minutes for every leader. One walked around introducing himself and asking if there was anything in particular he could pray about. The other would just put a hand on a leaders shoulder and pray quietly in tongues and then move on to the next one.
As they finished they came up to me and said, “can you ask if anyone felt they met with God whilst we prayed so we might be encouraged?” I asked. A forest of hands went up and the two lads punched the air!
These lads were still three years away from the youth group, probably both in Year 3 at school. Year 3. What are our expectations of young people?