Is Your Ministry More Like Rocky or Ivan Drago?

"I must break you."

Do you ever find your youth ministry being compared to other ministries in your area?

Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in Rocky IV.  Other ministries are like Drago, the powerful Soviet boxer, with all the resources, training, and technology money can buy.  And then there’s me…lifting logs and chasing chickens in a set of poorly-fitted sweats.

I wonder if we could learn from Rocky IV though.  Maybe having an abundance of resources isn’t always better.  Maybe there is a way to practice ministry in a way that is uniquely United Methodist.  Maybe there is something that a United Methodist youth ministry could offer that the other local churches can’t.

What kinds of things do you think we can offer as a United Methodist youth group that is different  than the stereotypical youth ministries around us?

As United Methodists, we have a storied history of a uniquely missional approach to the faith.  Early Methodists weren’t confined to their church buildings.  They were out in the communities seeking out opportunities to minister to the least and the lost in a powerful and relevant way.

That was (and still is) the power of the Methodist movement.  

Also, the early Methodists had an extreme sense of discipline and discipleship (hence the name “Methodist”).  Obedience to the teachings of Christ didn’t just happen.  There was an active and hands-on method to developing faith.

That was (and still is) the power of the Methodist movement.  

The Methodist movement also had the ability to adapt to any context.  Because it was a movement and not an institution, Methodist principles could readily be adopted in every situation.  The Methodist movement was built on the idea that you used what resources you had available for ministry.  Too often I see churches, often resource-starved, trying to do youth ministry like the local megachurch.  They have an idea of what a stereotypical youth ministry should be and they strive to make that happen no matter the cost.

But what if instead of trying to keep up with Drago, we used what we had available and began to think outside the box?  What if we used the lessons of our Methodist heritage to inform the way we do ministry now?  What if we actually began to offer a unique approach to youth ministry that other local churches in our area can’t?

That was (and still is) the power of the Methodist movement.

For Fun…Turn your speakers up and get pumped! - Rocky IV Training Montage


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