- Prayer - Perhaps the most effective way to invest in the future is through prayer. Why? Because it is one of the most powerful tools against spiritual warfare. Our youth are facing what we as adults are perhaps just learning about, the depths and degrees of spiritual battle, and what better way to invest in our youth than to pray them through the battles that no doubt they are facing or will be facing.
- Time - Youth can tell who cares and who doesn't. And the biggest tool they use to measure this is through time, your time. How much of it do you spend with them? This is perhaps the best thing we can use to evaluate how we're doing. You are either putting in the time or you're not, period!
- Praise - Now don't get me wrong this doesn't mean you praise them for EVERYTHING and give them a big head or anything but when our youth do things that is indeed praiseworthy they should be recognized for it. Let's face it, some of the most "mature" adults are infatuated with praise but that doesn't mean they deserve it less when a well deserved deed has been committed. Besides, I would rather our youth receive praise from good role models than from the peers who will one day lead them away from the Lord wouldn't you?
- Your Example - Perhaps the biggest thing that our generation of youth lacks today is the good example of good role models. Let me say that a different way. We have to be the example and not the exception! If we continue to think that we can make an exception for our behavior (especially in private times) we are going to fail our young people. We have to lead by example. Heaven knows there is already a lack of good role models in the world as it is. It's a little thing called Integrity, let's work to bring that back.
- Commitment - Lastly I would like to say that commitment is a very key role that our youth need today. Our youth are growing up in a time when it is so easy for parents, teachers and leaders to bail out on them at the drop of a hat. This must stop! We have to be totally committed in what we do for our youth. If they don't see commitment anywhere else we should definitely be the place where they see it the most!
As I said in the last post (student/children ministries) is very dear to me. How important are they to you?