How do you disciple those who are new to the faith while deepening the faith of those who are more mature?
It is a constant balancing act.
Is a new Christian ready to tackle the deeper issues of the faith or are the mature Christians willing to return to the “fundamentals” in order to stabilize those who are earlier on the journey?
These among many are questions that any youth leader has to address. How do I disciple our students in a balanced way without compromising the integrity of one group or the other.
It could drive you crazy trying to figure this out.
Sometimes people tell jokes, and the joke isn’t for everyone. I love when a comedian tells a joke and you can literally see the words travel over certain peoples heads. The joke has layers. For people who have seen the movie, they make a different correlation that the person who simply thought the joke was funny. Regardless, the joke was effective, just with different layers.
3 Ways to Maintain this Balance as a Youth Ministry Leader
1. Strong Theology Creates Strong Chrsitians, weak theology creates wimpy Christians.
Without a doubt you need to consistently provide an opportunity to engage with the difficulties in the text and its correlation to life. When we run from these difficulties you don’t take these new/young believers slowly into the pool, you take them to a different pool entirely. You begin to cultivate a weak faith that will eventually get to college with a defensive mentality to not be affected by the college life rather than a missional, offensive strategy to make disciples.
2. Cast and Re-Cast Vision
The old field of dreams quote still applies, “if you build it they will come.” If you are willing to invest the time in constantly showing the distinction between where we are and where we could be you are able to help those with greater influence buy into the vision and gain ownership into it. As more gain the vision you can begin to recruit them to do more discipleship outside of your formal gathering. The vision bucket leaks and must continually be filled up.
3. Run the Race with Them
One of my favorite quotes is from Soren Kierkegaard as he describes how we as leaders must help those who are around us. I could not imagine saying it any better.
If one is truly to succeed in leading a person to a specific place, one must first and foremost take care to find him where he is and begin there. This is the secret in the entire art of helping. Anyone who cannot do this is himself under a delusion if he thinks he is able to help someone else. I must understand more than he – but certainly first and foremost understand what he understands. If I do not do that, then my greater understanding does not help him at all. If I nevertheless want to assert my greater understanding, then it is because I am vain or proud, then basically instead of benefitting him I really want to be admired by him. But all true begins with a humbling. The helper must first humble himself under the person he wants to help and thereby understand that to help is not to dominate but to serve, that to help is a willingness for the time being to put up with being in the wrong and not understanding what the other understands.
From “The Point of View for My Work as an Author” published 1859 by Soren Kierkegaard, Danish author and philosopher (1813-1855)