This week we were reminded of the dire economic situation facing the youth of the world. Since 23.5% of the world’s poor are youth and 75 million youth are unemployed (a number that will keep growing), this presents significant challenges for governments, agencies, churches, and ministries (not to mention families!) in many regions of our world. In fact, all over the world, even the US, high school and college graduates will be in much poorer economic situations than their parents and especially their grandparents were at their age.
When I look over the ‘field’ of youth ministry, I sometimes grow concerned that we can become a vocation focused on running programs, teaching/speaking lessons, or even a personal exercise in leadership and personal status versus one based on Christlike service. As I read through Scripture on ministry like a ‘shepherd’ (I Peter 5:1-11) and the missional and service focus of the New Testament church, I wonder what our responsibility is to the youth in our community, our region, our country, and around the world.