Here are more thoughts on chapters 4-6 of Purpose Driven Youth Ministry. First, chapter 4 is the last of three chapters on making a purpose statement.
"Leadership separates a purpose-driven youth ministry from an event-an-activity-driven youth ministry."
"No one will know the purposes or value them as much as the point person of the ministry."
If that is the case, then maybe we should not make our purpose so complicated and constantly state it. It's over the top to make banners, acronyms, or memorizing, though I do see the purpose of a purpose statement. You could maybe include it in your newsletter once a month or put it on a card and give it to other SS leaders and elders. But God did not give us the Great Commandment and Great Commission, two commands, for us to divide them into five tasks. He knows we can't do anything without him, so he formed the church to worship him in anticipation of heaven on earth once a week, and as we attract people, which will happen naturally if you truly worship the Lord, we train them in how to worship the Lord both in and out of church. I only see two tasks there.
Chapter five is about your potential audience. I think I remember reading this in Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels. Doug Fields gave 5 C words to describe his people. From outside to in, Community, Crowd, Congregation, Committed, and Core. Doug thinks we need programs to reach all five Cs. I hate labels. I don't want to define one person as core and another as crowd. If a person is in my church under my teaching, then he or she is just a person. We may assign seats, but not Cs.
"Your programs will become more successful, while fulfilling God's purposes, if you spend some preliminary time identifying the different audiences in your ministry."
I'm going to work with what I have, not with what I anticipate. This is foolishness. How many times have I planned special lessons for one person only for her to not come? I need to focus on the kids that come, and usually, they are so happy with my job that they bring friends, making evangelism something we don't really have to focus on. It just happens as a result of me obeying God, and even despite it.
Finally, Rick Warren's signature, a chapter on Programs.
"We don't have the resources to create programs attractive enough to compete with the world."
What would I want to compete with the world anyway? I don't want to copy the world. I want completely different. One time, my cousin David said something very wise. Now, in my mom's family, our family was Presbyterian, her brother is Seventh-Day Adventist, and my cousin David, who came from her other brother, is an Athlete. Sports are their religion and meaning in life. But one time, we were playing disc golf together when he said, "You have to play the game, not other people. If you play other people, you will get discouraged and start getting burnt out." I don't think I've heard better wisdom in my life.
This applies to Church. When I teach at church, I don't care what the world is doing. I don't even really care what other churches are doing. I'm doing what God wants, which is to teach the Bible and equip my kids to better worship him. I did get together with other churches at Presbytery this past weekend and discuss youth ministry with two other EPC youth workers, but we just exchanged ideas. We did not try to see how Hollywood is attracting people or any other influence and try to copy them. We just bounced off of each other. Mark teaches at the closest the EPC gets to a mega-church, so I can't live up to that at the moment, and Nathan has a church more about my size. We all had good ideas and respected each other, but we weren't competing, and I'm not going to start competing now.
But I will end with a wonderful quote from this book that I greatly Amen!
"Students' entire world shouldn't be Christianity, but it should be Christ."