In September we are heading for a major overhaul of our youth ministry. Here is a little article I wrote to our students as we are going through the transition:
The Bible is such a cool book! I love how God uses it to speak to us where we are at. I was recently reading and thinking of one of my students, Peter. He often enjoyed busting my chops about my thinning hair. Then, the Lord gave me a word in due season:
“From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths” (II Kings 2:22-24).
Since I didn’t want to call down a curse on my buddy Pete, and since there were no bears around anyways, I decided I would simply silence him by beating nature to the punch and shaving my hair off. So there you have it; the true story behind my haircut.
Isn’t it funny how when we get a new look it takes a little getting used to. During the first week after I cut my hair I would jump each time I looked in the mirror. I couldn’t believe it was me. I couldn’t believe I had done it. But then this mysterious thing happened … I got used to it. I realized that my look had changed but I was still the same person.
In September, Planet Impact is getting a haircut. We are taking on a new look. We are still fundamentally going to be the same … passionate about reaching and discipling the youth of Long Island to impact the planet for Jesus Christ, but we are going to embrace a new look that will enhance our ability to reach the unchurched and make us more effective in helping them develop into fully-devoted, life-long followers of Jesus.
Will it take a little getting used to? You bet. But I would invite you to consider the big picture and the reason we are implementing these changes. The big picture is that we are not just about entertaining church kids and giving them a safe place to hang out until they head off to college. We are about reaching the lost and creating environments wherein students can meet Jesus and grow in faith so they will serve Jesus as adults. The structural changes we are making are designed to help us accomplish this in a more strategic, effective way.
Allow me to answer a few of your concerns …
If you’re worried about the schedule change … we currently meet on Sunday mornings at 10:15am, Sunday nights at 6pm, Monday nights at 7pm, and Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. In the new schedule we will meet on Sunday mornings at 10:15am, Sunday nights at 6pm, Monday nights at 7pm, and Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. That’s right … it’s EXACTLY THE SAME! We’re just changing up what will happen in those time slots.
If you are worried that you won’t see your friends … allow me to assure you that the opposite will actually be true. You will see them EVEN MORE! We will have much more time for hanging out in the new format.
If you’re worried about unchurched kids “invading” your space … rest assured your worries ARE justified! If all goes according to plan, we will have tons of unchurched, unsaved students in our church each week. That is a great thing! And it’s a chance for you to rise up, embrace the call of God to reach the lost, and to heed the call of Paul to Timothy, “Keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
So, embrace the challenge! There are thousands of students dying spiritually, and you know how they can discover true life!