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22 reasons why I’m a youth leader

It’s a tough job, being a youth leader, no matter if you do it fulltime or as a volunteer. Sometimes circumstances make you wonder why on earth you ever wanted to be a youth leader, why you ever thought you’d be useful in youth ministry. To remind you, here’s my list of 22 reasons why I’m a youth leader:

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What is the gospel?

When I was preparing my message for the youth Christmas service, I asked myself this question a couple of times: what is the gospel? You see, I decided a few years ago that I would always, always preach the gospel in a youth service, no matter what the topic was. And I have done so, to the best of my capabilities. But lately I’ve been wondering about the Gospel I’ve been preaching.

The more I learn about God’s Word and the depth of what Jesus has done, the harder it becomes for me to define what the Gospel is exactly.

The more I understand of the beautiful symbolism and deeper meaning of many events around Jesus’ death and resurrection, the more details I want to include in sharing the Gospel.

The more I grasp of the concept of grace (and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface), the less satisfied I am with my version of the Gospel.

The more I try to live out the Gospel, the harder it becomes to share it in only 5 minutes of a sermon. Continue reading What is the gospel?

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The power of vulnerability

Every now and then you hear a message that has a profound impact on you. The TED talk on the power of vulnerability I saw the other day is such a message. Brené Brown calls herself a researcher-storyteller and some years ago, she did research into human connections. That research quickly turned into research on shame and vulnerability. She made a discovery that changed the way she lived her life.

I urge you to take 20 minutes to watch this video of her talk about what she discovered on why some people seem to be able to live ‘wholehearted’ and why others can’t:

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Spiritual pathways: one size does not fit all

When it comes to spirituality, to growing closer to God, one size does not fit all. Yet often we not only try the ‘standard’ pathways ourselves, but we also only teach them to our students. If our students ask us (or to put it more correctly: of we want our students to know) how to grow in their faith, what do we tell them? I’m guessing it’ll be something along these lines: do quiet time, read your Bible and pray. Oh, and go to church every Sunday obviously.

We seem to prescribe one general one-size-fits-all spiritual pathway for everyone, even though we know very well people are very different from each other. Just look at the sixteen basic personality temperaments according to the Myers-Briggs test: introvert/extravert, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling and judging/perceptive. I’m an extravert, sensing, feeling, judging type, whereas my husband is an extravert, intuitive, thinking, perceptive type (yes, we are the classic example of ‘opposites attract’!).

How is it possible that we would both be able to find ourselves in one single pathway to God? We’re different on all accounts!

There is no one-size-fits-all spiritual pathway to grow closer to God

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