My faith is like a relationship and my religion (Catholicism) is rich in tradition. Both have their positives and to live those out personally can be tough.
The tension between traditional and relevant youth ministry can be equally exhausting. Anytime you try something new you are going to get pushback. People will say:
- You are focused too much on entertainment.
- You are forgetting about tradition.
- Teens need to know Truth.
When you move to be more traditional people will say:
- You are being too closed-minded.
- You aren’t addressing people’s needs.
- The church needs to change.
It’s finding the balance between growth and maintaining a firm identity. We go through it as individuals and our youth ministries face this challenge as well.
No matter your church’s background there is a tension between the traditional and staying relevant. To embrace that tension you need to recognize the benefits of both. That means:
- Recognizing The Journey: When you embrace tradition you recognize the sacrifice and hard work it took to get where you are today.
- Embracing The Timelessness: There are parts of our faith that have transcended trials and tribulation.
- Embarking On New Challenges: The world around us is constantly changing and the church needs to face those challenges.
- Focusing On Growth: As new challenges and obstacles approach us so does the way we approach them.
In the end your ministry’s health depends on TRUSTING God and the vision that He’s given you.
God is going to ask you to change when you need to change. And, He’s going t ask you to stay firm when you need to stay firm. Knowing when your ministry moves and rests is all a part of knowing your vision.
Live in the tension. Spend time in prayer and listen to where God is leading you.
What the biggest challenge you face between traditional and relevant youth ministry?