I am a full time Youth Minister. I serve a Church in Big Rapids Michigan and I a believe one of the most important things I can teach my young people whom I serve is Church isn’t all about them. Church is about the body of Christ coming together. It is about being one body not just a youth church. We get in trouble in ministry and a church when we say one group is more important than the other or I only care about one part of the body who are like me.
I don’t do worship in youth group on purpose. For those who know me, they know I can’t sing. In fact Sunday I left my mic on for the whole last hymn. Needless to say their was some crying at the end of the service. I don’t do worship in youth group for a whole different reason. I do not believe youth groups should do worship regularly for Youth group time. The reason is I don’t want our students thinking that YG is the same as being a part of the whole body of Christ. I want are students in worship because it is where we see the whole body of Christ gather and share its need for forgiveness in confession and absolution, in the breaking of bread, and fellowship.
Many of my students and even their parents can forget this fact about the body. We seem to think all to often that Church is about me and my group of peers. I have had parents and students say “They aren’t going to Church but they are going to be at Youth group which I the same thing.” I cry a little when that happens. Being a part of the body of Christ is all about being with the whole body. The body needs those who are 95 and crusty, it needs the 5 year old with snot running down his nose, it needs the teenager who is uncomfortable with her body, the single mom, the dad who is struggling with self worth, It needs all of it because it is all the body trying to come together to follow the head who is Jesus. It is these moments when we learn to walk together through our mess and see Jesus clean it up.
The whole body in needed to function properly is doesn’t mean we don’t have groups who meet together who are alike, it just means that shouldn’t be the end goal. Our end goal should be the whole body gathered together. So how are you intentionally gathering together with those in your Church who are not like you? How are you helping grow the whole body of Christ?
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:4-7 ESV