Today, there is a short supply of men and women who positively impact the lives of others. Most leadership is centered on self-accomplishments and name-making. The world, our communities, and even the church is in short supply of leaders who are selfless and sacrificing. The youth ministry educator is privileged to impact young lives and benefit the youth in a variety of significant ways. Youth educators are implicit leaders in their functions and responsibilities. This grace is from God and is not restricted to a few but for all men and women who are called of God to lead and impact the lives of others.
The Christian youth is inundated with entertainment options filled with vices, crime, violence, and practices that ruin their minds and sap their energy. Thus, the need for youth educators is crucial: to walk alongside as coaches, mentors, or counselors; and to help plan, develop, and implement survival strategies so that young men and women can thrive in the world.
Who is a Youth Ministry Educator?
The educator, according to Spencer Johnston, is a man or woman, a boy or girl, who presents the information, assesses, revisits, and assesses the same information until they are satisfied with the learning that has taken place. In contrast, a teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences, or values. Informally, anyone can take on the role of a teacher, but an educator is a specialized role. The youth minister is called to this specialized form of ministry in the church or youth group with which he or she works.
What qualities Should He or She Bring to that youth group?
The youth ministry educator needs to have the following qualities and experiences:
- He or she must be born again, having encountered the risen Savior firsthand, and be passionate about modeling a Christ-like lifestyle in relationships, worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach.
- As a disciple, he or she must develop a disciple-multiplication pathway.
- As an educator, he or she must have a vision and plan with clear goals for the group.
- He or she must prioritize spiritual formation as a life attainment.
- He or she must evaluate activities by being SMART in his or her approach.
What are the benefits so such educator to the church or group?
The Christian youth ministry educator affects lives in many ways. He or she becomes:
- The prime influencer of beliefs, values, and behavior in the community.
- The teacher of subsequent generations who will continue to obey the Lord God.
- An intercessor and global Christian.
- A rallying point of holistic living for the total youth.
The Christian educator, like Jesus, should grow holistically – physically, intellectually, spiritually, and socially. Every aspect of the youth is important. As the educator ministers to the youth, they should expect that the youth will replicate their ministry in the lives of others.