Crash Course Minute (October 29, 2018)


Postmodernism is a term that is very hard to define. Many people define it in various ways. Iwould define postmodernism as a worldview that establishes truth based on community. Truthhas been divorced from relationships, thus allowing each individual to determine truth based onthe view of a particular group or community. Postmodernism is not concerned with finding ordiscovering an absolute, unwavering truth. It focuses on defining truth based on feeling orexperience as opposed to logic or reason. I think the church has been slow at addressing thisissue. If we are really going to make a difference in the world around us, we need to understandthe effect postmodernism is having on us as believers. After studying this issue, I believeChristians and the church basically react in several ways. Below are a few:

Baptize It: I believe one of the things the church has done far too often is to take things from theworld and incorporate them into the church culture from the postmodern world and place it underthe banner of relevance. We need to realize that relevance is basically knowing the needs of thepeople in our ministries and how to meet them in a real and tangible way. Jesus did this so well.As He spoke to the crowds, He would tailor His message to meet the needs of the audience. Wemust do the same. It is okay to incorporate music, video, and other media to reach thisgeneration, but we need to influence the world not the other way around.

Demonize It: In my opinion, this is the most damaging reaction the church has had topostmodernism. I think this comes from fear and misunderstanding. As a human race, when wecome up against something that is confusing or fearful, we tend to reject or criticize it. I was at aconcert in rural Kentucky. This was a very conservative, Bluegrass culture. The event wasactually a youth event to help students understand what they believe and why. The band cameout on stage and began to play. The band was your typical youth-style rock band. Most of thekids were excited and the crowd was electric. But five minutes into the show, 75 people got upand left. They thought that music of this nature should not be played at this type of event. Weneed to teach our students how to be critical thinkers. We need to understand the culture in whichwe live and rise to meet them with the gospel message.Ignore it: I used to be this way when it came to conflict. If I had a problem with someone,instead of trying to work it out, I would ignore it. This only made things worse. Things weretaken out of context, feelings were hurt, and there was a constant tension until one of us took theinitiative to resolve the issue. I believe the same thing is happening in the church. Many adultsare fearful or confused about what is happening in youth culture. Instead of taking the time to dosome research, they just clam up and choose to ignore it. We need adults, pastors, teachers, andparents to rise up and engage this culture. We need to issue the battle cry and lead the charge toreach a generation who desperately needs us.

Critically Engage It: This is the approach that makes the most sense biblically. Jesus chose tofully engage the people of His time. He took the time to ask the tough questions. He alwaysasked the questions that would go way beyond the surface. As youth pastors, we need to knowwhat our students are involved in and ask the tough questions. For example,16 years ago, I did amessage series called “MySpace.” We took six weeks to look at the who, what, when, where,why, and how of Myspace. Myspace is a social networking website where students can set up aprofile, post media, and blogs about themselves. As I began to research this topic, I looked forour students that had a Myspace account, and I was shocked. Some of the students had revealingphotos, lied about their ages, and used profanity fluently. I emailed these students and asked tobe added to their friends list. Within one hour, I had a student at my house. He asked, “How didyou find out about Myspace?” He was embarrassed that I had found his site. He put on a veryspiritual front at church, but his site was far from it. Others were excited that I took time to entertheir world. If we critically engage the postmodern world, we will truly see change. As Christfollowers, we must lead the charge in an evangelical revolution to reach a lost generation.Will you join me on this journey? I am excited that you have chosen to buy this and criticallyengage what it means to fully live and make a lasting IMPACT not only in this generation, butfor generations to come. At the end of this journey, you will see how Transformational Livingcan set you a Trajectory of Legacy! Let the journey begin…

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Crash: Living Life at the Point of Impact


Over 10 years ago, God burdened my heart to help students and youth pastors develop a Missional Focus as they reach students in their community. So I began to ponder these two questions, “What does it mean to be fully alive?} What does God want to communicate from the Cross?” Crash: Living Life at the Point of Impact is an eye-opening journey that stresses the importance of living life right in the middle of where God is working. The point of impact of any crash is where the most force and change occur. It is the same way with our relationship with Christ. Christ’s death on the cross was the point of impact that changed the world. The core message is to equip students with the tools to live a life that functions at “the point of impact” with a personal Savior who wants to give us an abundant life which in turn impacts the people and community in which we live. The people Jesus impacted were changed by an inevitable crash course that would change the way man would connect with God forever. If you are tired of just existing and want to be “fully alive”, come along with me on this journey of discovery as we seek to live life at the “point of impact”. In order to make a radical impact, we must:

  • Understand the “impact” of true intimacy with Christ.
  • Discover that our identity is determined by the “point of impact” with Christ.
  • Discover our God Given Mission to Fulfill
  • Realize that our Perspective will directly affect our Impact.
  • Grasp that our Attitude can greatly affect the intensity and effectiveness of our Impact.
  •  Discover that an “impact” with Christ will determine the trajectory of our life 
  • Develop a desire to leave traces of this “impact” for other to follow.

If you would like to purchase the book, you can order it from Barnes and Nobles and Lucid Books.

Randy’s heartbeat is to relay Biblical Truth to a generation seeking relevant Christianity in today’s world. With a culturally relevant style, Randy shows the importance of understanding God’s Word so that we may show God’s love to an unbelieving world. When the Bible seems complex to understand, Randy shares real-life examples to teach teenagers, parents, and youth leaders how to focus on Jesus, and show Christ-like love to everyone around them in to live “Life at the Point of Impact”!

Randy speaks about…

1.) The Importance of a Biblical Worldview

2.) The importance of developing a Missional Student Ministry

3.) The necessity to live a life of discovery by “Transformation”

4.) The importance of understanding the “Whole” Gospel and living it out.

5.) The Importance of Missional Living.

A veteran Youth Pastor of 29 years, Randy brings life to the Scripture in such a way that every person attending your event senses his deep desire to live life together. The community he desires to build with your students and leaders is rivaled only by his heart for delivering God’s message. Randy’s heartbeat is investing his life in the hearts and minds of junior high, high school and college students, but there is no doubt his ability to communicate with parents and youth leaders is equally effective.

Randy also serves local churches by offering one-on-one consulting to help them develop or refine a Missional Focus as an integral part of their Student Ministry. These consulting sessions are tailor made to meet the needs of each individual church. Some churches may only need a couple of hours of training while others may want to take advantage of a yearlong partnership to get their ministry headed in a missional direction.

I am currently Booking Speaking Engagements for the Crash Book Tour. I still have dates available for Winter 2018 and Spring and Summer 2019!!! If you would like me to come and speak and your school, your church, camp, retreat or business, please send me a PM and I can get you added to my Speaking Calendar!!!

If you are interested in booking Randy for a Speaking Engagement or a Consulting Appointment, please contact our ministry office at randysbrown@gmail.com or to reach me on my cell phone at (701) 251-8374

Different


2017 was the most challenging and painful years of my life. From exposing deep hidden pain caused over many years to loosing my wife and best friend, my prayer during this painful season was that God would use these events to make me Different. I am not the same man I was in 2017. I am radically different. This song paints a perfect picture of what God has done in my lfe over the past year. If you are going through a difficult season, let the message of this song wash over you and may you forever be Different because of what God is doing in your life. Below are the lyrics for this song. Take some time today and meditate on what they mean for you and your life!!!

“Different”

I don’t wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don’t wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart
I don’t need to recognize the man in the mirror
And I don’t wanna trade Your plan for something familiar
I can’t waste a day, I can’t stay the same

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
In me

And I dont wanna spend my life stuck in a pattern
And I don’t wanna gain this world but lose what matters
And so I’m giving up everything because

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different, oh

I know, that I am far from perfect
But through You, the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different, yea

I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Oh is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
So come and be different
I just wanna be different
So could You be different
In me

Where There is Faith – A Look Back at 2017


 

2017, to say the least, was one of the worst years of my life. I tragically lost my wife and best friend, dealt with some hidden pain, and challenged more than ever in my walk with Christ. 2017 also had some great high points. I was part of 2 great Conferences, watched my children spread their wings and fly the nest, took an awesome road trip with my daughter, and felt God’s Presense more than ever before. I am truly blessed with great friends and family who have walke with me through both the highs and lows.

The spiritual journey of any individual is indeed personal. The way we achieve spiritual growth depends on what we want to gain from the experience. Transformation is the process of becoming more like Christ in all areas of our lives. As we grow in our understanding of God’s Word and in our relationship with Christ, we will in turn be set apart for God’s purposes. The fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our life, and God will continue to mold us into the image of His Son.

I believe that in order to grow to become like Christ, we must develop habits that will follow us for life. We must begin by spending time with Him daily — not just a passing thought as we rush out the door in the morning. We must spend quality time with Him. We must develop relationships with people who can keep us accountable in our Christian journey. We need to study and memorize Scripture, practice tithing by getting involved in a local church body. If we begin by developing theses habits, then we will see true spiritual growth.

God created us for relationships. We were made to be connected with each other. Starting new relationships and keeping them takes a lot of work and practice. We must first begin with our relationship with Christ.

Our hearts must be where God can speak to us clearly. We continually must perform a heart check. Paul lists three things that will help open the eyes of our hearts: light, power and authority. God is light. He will illuminate our hearts and begin to show us who we really are.

In light of God’s holiness, we see our sinfulness. This helps us see the greatness of the gift He gave us on the cross. The light points to our sin which needs to be dealt with. The light points us to the cross and in turn should breed a spirit of gratitude and worship.

We also have power. We have been given eternal life. We have lost the meaning of this concept. Eternal life is not the ability to live forever. Eternal life is the very life that was in Christ. God is the only eternal being. He has no beginning and no end. The life He gives us is the very life force that was in Jesus. God cannot be any closer to us. He is closer than our front teeth.

We also have authority to live and make decisions by the help of the Holy Spirit. After the Fall, man was unable to make right choices consistently. Man was a sinful being. Once we accept Christ, we have the ability to make the right choices. We have authority over Satan and sin. Our sin debt was cancelled, and it has no power over us anymore. If we truly understand these three things, our identity can be found in Christ. Apart from Christ, our identity is skewed.

We live and breathe by the grace of God. He gives our lives meaning and purpose. When we follow Him, we are free to be who He created us to be.

In Sacred Pathways, Thomas looks at several paths that people journey on as they connect with God. Most of the pathways align with our unique personality. God has wired us a certain way, thus we each connect with Him in a unique way. As we connect with God, we undergo a moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing our lives more and more under the influences of the new principles placed in the soul at salvation. In other words, the way we connect to God facilitates the process of perfecting the work begun at salvation, and it extends to the whole person. It is the special function of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work. Faith is instrumental in how we connect with God. It secures union to Christ and brings the believer into living contact with the truth, where he or she is led to yield to obedience and to embrace the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.

After reading Sacred Pathways, I realized the Contemplative Path is really the building block for the other paths that were discussed. For us to be able to connect with God, we must think and contemplate about this God with whom we are trying to connect. This idea of contemplation is the basic DNA from which the other paths build extend. This patht is foundational. I feel that we have not really put enough emphasis on the contemplative process. We plan our services, Bible studies and small groups around a curriculum that focuses on facts and intellectual knowledge, but leaves very little room for people to sit in silence and contemplate who God is. We have a created an entire culture that worships a God very few have taken the time to get to know.

One thing I have tried to do in our student ministry is intentionally create some time for students to connect with God and hear from Him on a new level. I have implemented in youth worship services a contemplative prayer service. Students go from station to station as music plays. They participate in the service by interacting with what is written on the signs. These services have been very meaningful for our students. Many for the first time felt as if they connected with God. I believe we need to create environments such as this because we can be about the busy work of ministry and forget to help people, or even ourselves, connect with the God we serve.

As we grow in our relationship with God, we develop convictions based on our beliefs. If we are truly walking with God and have a healthy growing relationship with Him, our convictions will be based on the Word of God. Once we begin to compromise and mix the philosophy of the world into our faith, our convictions are weakened. In order to truly experience a growth toward holiness, we must know and make God’s conviction our own. We must know Him so well that we should not have to think before we make a decision. Our convictions influence our choices. Each choice we make either brings us closer to God or drives us further away from Him. As Christians, we need to seek God’s will in every choice we make no matter how trivial we think it might be. God has a plan and purpose for our lives. One wrong choice can alter the plan and blessing He wants to give us. We must consider every choice a life altering decision.

Many Christians believe they are better able to discipline themselves, God’s grace becomes available to them. Actually the opposite is true. It is God’s grace that gives us the ability to discipline ourselves. As we become more dependent on God to empower us in these areas of discipline, and then apply the grace God gives us, then we will mature as Christians.

In order to truly experience God’s grace we must be disciplined in the area of obedience. Jesus told His disciples that “if you love Me, you will keep My commandments. Jesus also expounded on this by telling us in Matthew 22:36-40 that the greatest commandment is to love God with all that we are: mind, body heart.

We need to be ever alert and cautious as we live our lives. We must be willing to move fast when God calls us to obey. Too many of us are content to live on cruise control and watch the world pass. Obedience requires fast action, almost an involuntary response to God’s call.

We must also be dependent on God in order to experience the fullness of His grace. Dependence must be accompanied by discipline. Just as an airplane needs both wings to fly, we need discipline and dependence to soar to the heights of God’s amazing grace. Once we truly acknowledge our utter dependence on God and take ourselves out of the picture, then and only then will our lives be open to God’s leading and direction.

Commitment plays a big role in a pursuit of holiness and grace. First, we need to be committed to living a life that is pleasing to God. It must be a resolute commitment. Commitment is a choice. Whatever plan of action we take in our Christian lives speaks to our commitment level. If we are striving to live a life free of sin, we must be committed to the example left for us by Jesus and God’s Word. In order to truly understand God’s grace, we must search our hearts and see how committed we are to the cause of Christ. If we are not willing to fully commit by giving control of our lives to Christ, how can we expect others to do the same?

God gives us the discipline of adversity as a means of our sanctification. Our role in this discipline is to respond to it and to acquiesce to whatever God may be doing, even though a particular instance of adversity makes no sense to us. As we do this, we will see in due time the fruit of the Spirit produced in our lives. God’s grace is something that we never will truly understand this side of heaven. He loves us so much that He has given us something we do not deserve. He sent His Son to die for us and give us eternal life. All He asks of us is to be fully committed to Him. Once we begin to practice the basic disciplines of the faith, then we will see the power of God’s grace at work in our lives. For most of us, this is a daily battle; but if we continue to stay close to God and seek His will, He will open the flood gates and shower us with His amazing grace.]\

2017 can be some up with a simple song. Over the last few months, I have been practicing what I call the Sacred Act of Reminisance. God has flooded my mind with his promises, some great memories, and taught me so much. Music has alway been a big part of my life. Starting January 1st, I will be sharing a thought and truth of what God has taught me each day. So that will 365 distinct promise and memories that I think will help you as much as it has helped me. Each thought will include a song that sums up what God wants to communicate to us.

The song that sums up 2017 is below. Please plan to join me on this incredible journey by subscribing to my blog. In 2018, the best is yet to come!!! Happy New Year and God Bless!!!

Your New Home For Youth Ministry Resources


Are you looking for that perfect Game to tie your Mid-Week Service together??? Are you long for you next Message Series idea? If you value resources like I do, then check out this new Youth Ministry Resource Website!!!

MinistryDownloads.com® is a resource site created by Terrace Crawford to share resources that he’s curated over a 20-year ministry span. The resources are beta-tested, ready-to-go, affordable, and totally downloadable. There’s something for every church\ministry leader, including (but not limited to): Senior Pastors, Youth Leaders, Children’s Leaders, Small Group Leaders, and more! Now Terrace Crawford, founder of the site, has invited other leaders to contribute their resources to the site and he’s uploading new products every week! The best part is not only are those who contribute to the site helping resource other leaders, but they also get to share in the profits earned from the site! Each contributor earns 50% commission on the sales of their products! Additionally, every contributor is an affiliate of the ministry site, so members\contributors can earn additional income just by sharing about the site (using their unique Affiliate link), even if their products do not sell initially! Check out this amazing site: www.ministrydownloads.com

FAST FACTS: MINISTRYDOWNLOADS.COMMinistryDownloads.com ® was founded by Terrace Crawford in April 2017 as a resource hub for today’s Ministry leaders. MinistryDownloads.com offers resources for Senior Pastors, Youth Leaders, Children’s Leaders and Small Group Leaders, among others.EVERY contributor to the site within the first 2 weeks of the site launch has earned profits from the sale of their products!Contributors earn profits through royalties earned on the sale of their products and can also earn income by signing up as a registered Affiliate of MinistryDownloads.com®.MinistryDownloads.com has several corporate advertisers currently, including: LifeWay Christian Resources, Youth Ministry Partners, and Group Publishing.Anyone can submit their resources for review & publishing at: http://ministrydownloads.com/contributeAnyone can register as an Affiliate of MinistryDownloads.com here: http://ministrydownloads.com/affiliate-home/affiliate-registerFor more on Terrace Crawford, founder, go here: http://www.ministrydownloads.com/about

2015 in Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Get Down


Frank Peretti is best known as a novelist. His works include The Oath, The Visitation, and This Present Darkness. He was awarded the 1996 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best fiction. Based on his own true story of pain, Frank Peretti wants to shed light on a common problem facing young people today which is loneliness and persecution. It is a wake up call for youth workers and adults to reach beyond the surface needs of a young person to the heart of his most private hurts.

As Peretti takes us on a journey through his developmental years, we can see all too clearly that we have been in the locker room and felt the shame of laughter at our expense. As adults we tend to forget the rough teenage years of our past. This book brings back a flood of memories. It also heightens our awareness to what our young people are facing today. We as Youth Ministers need to be sensitive to issue that our kids face. We may think they seem small but in their world it seems like a never ending torment. Our youth face similar problems on a daily basis and are vulnerable. We need to be willing listen to them and to take action if we need to. Gone are the days of “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Words do hurt, and we can replay them over and over in our minds.

Wounded Spirit had opened my eyes to the way I approach Youth Ministry. Now when a young person has
a nasty attitude, I ask myself “What has this young person been through today? Is there something behind this attitude? ” I listen more attentively when they share their problems. This book has opened my eyes to world that I had forgotten. I pray that God will not let me forget my past bouts with humiliation and pain as a teenage so that I might be able to better minister to those who are hurting.

When we go through the valleys of life, it seems as if God is far away. I believe that is really just the
opposite. It is in the valley that we truly see how much God cares for us. In Psalm 23, we see that God is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. In Hebrews 13:6, we see that God is our helper, and we should not fear. In our times of trouble, we look franticly for Him in the circumstances, but he is right behind us; pushing us on. That is why I am glad that the Bible states in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave or forsake us.
Below is a link to a song from the 1990s by Audio Adrenaline. It sums up what Christ does for us in our time of suffering and need. Take some time to listen to words and let the presence of God wash over you. Every time you are down the Lord lifts you up!!!

Audio Adrenaline: Get Down

Church and Culture


Postmodernism is a term that is very hard to define. Many people define it in various ways. I would define Post-modernism as a worldview that establishes truth based on community. Truth has been divorced from relationships, thus allowing each individual to determine truth based on the view of a particular group or community. Postmodernism is not concerned with finding or discovering an absolute, unwavering truth. It focuses on defining truth based on feeling or experience as opposed to logic or reason.I think that the church has been slow at addressing this issue. If we are really going to make a difference in the world around us, we need understand the effect postmodernism is having on us as believers. After studying this issue, I believe that Christians and the church basically react in several ways. Below are a few:

 

Baptize It: I believe that one of the things that the church has done far too often is take things from the world and incorporated them into the church culture from the Postmodern world and place it under the banner of relevance. We need to realize that relevance is basically knowing the needs of the people in your ministry and how to meet them in a real and tangible way. Jesus did this so well. As He spoke to the crowds, He would tailor His message to meet the needs of the audience. We must do the same. It is ok to incorporate music, video, and other media to reach this generation, but we need to influence the world not the other way around.

Demonize It: In my opinion, this is the most damaging reaction the church has had to Post-modernism. I
think that this comes from fear and misunderstanding. As a human race, when we come up against
something that is confusing or fearful, we tend to reject or criticize it. I was at a concert in rural Kentucky. This was a very conservative, Bluegrass culture. The event was actually a Youth Event to help students understand what they believe and why. The band came out on stage and began to play. The band was your typical youth style rock band. Most of the kids were excited and the crowd was electric. But five minutes into the show 75 people got up and left. They thought that music of this nature should not be played at this type of event. We need to teach our students how to be critical thinkers. We need to understand the culture in which we live and rise to meet them with the gospel message.

Ignore it: I used to be this way when it came to conflict. If I had a problem with someone, instead of trying to work it out, I would ignore it. This only made things worse. Things were taken out of context, feelings
were hurt, and there was a constant tension until one of us took the initiative to resolve the issue. I believe the same thing is happening in the church. Many adults are fearful or confused about what is happening in youth culture. Instead of taking the time to do some research, they just clam up and choose to ignore it. We need adults, pastors, teachers, and parents to rise up and engage this culture. We need to issue the battle cry and lead the charge to reach a generation that desperately needs us.

Critically Engage It: This is the approach that makes the most sense biblically. Jesus chose to fully engage
the people of His time. He took the time to ask the tough questions. He always asked the questions that would go way beyond the surface. As youth pastors, we need to know what our students are involved in and ask the tough questions. For example,14 years ago I did a message series called “MySpace” We took six weeks to look at the who, what, when, where, why, and how of MySpace. MySpace is an internet blog site where students can set up a profile, post media, and blogs about themselves. As I began to research this topic, I looked for our students that had a MySpace account, and I was shocked. Some of the students had revealing photos, lied about there age, and used profanity fluently. I e-mailed these students and asked to be
added to their friends list. Within one hour, I had a student at my house. He asked,” How did you find out about MySpace? He was embarrassed that I had found his site. He puts on a very spiritual front at church, but his site was far from it. Others were excited that I took time to enter their world. If we critically engage the post-modern world, we will truly see change. As youth pastors, we must lead the charge in an evangelical revolution to reach a lost generation.

Will you join me on this journey? I would really like to get your feed back about this issue. Please send me your comments. The only way that we are truly going to make an impact is if we join together to reach this generation. I look forward to our dialogue

So get out there and transform your world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postmodern Youth Ministry


In Postmodern Youth Ministry, Jones paints a picture of what Youth Ministry in a postmodern context will look like. The vast majority of Americans claim to be religious, but how much is Christ-like compassion and aid to the needy actually making a difference in our communities? How well are we reflecting and emulating the mission of Jesus? How much is our culture in its darkness and need actually finding hope from those
of us who proclaim Christ and his Kingdom of love and compassion?

Is there a similarity between religious life in the first century prior to Pentecost and that of most churches and Christian communities today? Clearly, the answer is yes. Sure, there are differences: we have all the conveniences of twenty-first century technology—printed Bibles, Christian radio and TV broadcasts, and the
Internet. These wonderful tools should greatly aid us in an effort to transform our culture. But in spite of the differences in technology and information availability, today’s typical religious life seems anemic and ineffectual. The average American church appears to have little impact on the culture around us. Why?

The Church today is not what the church was intended to be. The Church started as a missionary
movement in Jerusalem. It moved to Rome and became an institution. It traveled to Europe and became a culture. It crossed the Atlantic to America and became a big business. While this is simplistic, it does ring true. It appears that religious people have, on the whole, lost their “transforming salt” and are no longer an “attractive light” that most people want to follow.

It may seem strange to think that traditional evangelism is in its last gasps when some North American churches seem to be increasing in number. Indeed, if the measure of success is church attendance, donations, people’s participation, numbers of programs, or square footage of church space, then many of today’s churches would be considered overwhelming successful. But are these factors valid measurements for the success of a church? If not, what is? The apostle Paul established some indicators. He stated that the leadership of the church was responsible “to equip God’s people to do his work…” so they would be “…mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13, NLT). “Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live…so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NLT). The disciple James went on to add: “Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you
don’t prove it by your actions?” (James 2:14, NLT).

Just as in the first century, a new church is emerging that is measuring its success not by the numbers of those participating in religious programs, but by its transformed lives. These churches measure their success by the lives of those who profess to be Christians. Their standard is simple Christ-likeness and how the transformed lives of their members impact the community around them. Over the past few decades Youth Ministry has been on the cutting edge of relevant ministry. He points out that if we are going to make an impact we must understand the condition of the postmodern mind and develop Youth Ministries that seek to meet those individual where they are. Considering the condition of the church and what is has become, we must be willing to think outside the box and be proactive in our approach to reaching this generation.

As I read this book, I could not help but think of my second full time Student Ministry Position. The church was in rural part of Georgia. Most of the students that were drawn to our ministry were skaters and Goth kids. I thought that this was odd considering the community we were in. As I began to minister to them, I realized that I needed to change my approach or I would lose them. I spent time getting to know them and began to invest into their lives. As time went on their appearance began to change. I think that once they felt loved and accepted, they did not need to dress that we any more. I believe most of them dressed like that just
to get attention, and sometimes not very positive attention. As I read Postmodern Youth Ministry, I really began to identify with the description that Jones gave of this new type of ministry. I really see how I have incorporated some of his ideas into my own ministry.

So this raises some very important questions:

How can I change my Youth Ministry to be more sensitive to the Postmodern Seeker?

What things must I change in order to be relevant, but not compromise the truth of the Gospel?

How do identify those students in my ministry that have a Postmodern mindset?

How do I train my leaders to be sensitive to this type of approach to ministry?

After reading Postmodern Youth Ministry, I realized that if we are going to make an impact in the generation, we must get back to the model of the early church. It didn’t take thousands of people to launch God’s transformational Kingdom movement in Jerusalem during the first century. There were only 120 in that upper room pouring their hearts out to God in agreement when his transforming Spirit empowered them to engage their city. And from Jerusalem they turned the known world upside down. What did they do and how did they do it? A study of the early church reveals how they grew and stayed focused on the mission Christ gave them. There were many factors involved, and we must practice these as well.

First, I must proclaim a transformational message. The new kingdom was not about changing the
Government; it was about transforming each individual life. I must have a burden to reach the lost and
truly seek to help students find the transforming power of Christ.

Second, my Youth Ministry must embrace a missional focus. Church growth should not be our goal; it is a
by-product. My strategy has to come together in the prayer of agreement, unify around God’s heart of compassion, and engage the city with a message of Christ’s love that met people’s needs. And that will result in converts. Converts will then be discipled, and the Youth Ministry and church will become more authentic and experience growth.

And third, I must help my students become living models of transformation. People aren’t attracted to
preaching personalities or church buildings or church programs. They are attracted to a people who demonstrate love and care for others, people who have a clear sense of purpose and convictions worth dying for.

Our culture today has similarities to that of the first century. The needs of people are the same now as then. People in our community will respond and can be changed by the same message of transformation, they will respond to the same missional focus, and they will be attracted to authentic models of transformation.

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