Effective Youth and Family Ministry is: Rooted

Statement: The Lutheran Biblical understanding of God’s love and grace is one that young people and families desperately need to hear.

Biblical Basis: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your own doing but is a gift from God.” 

- Ephesians 2:8

Rationale: There was a time when people lived in a much more “rooted” environment.

 Extended families tended to live in fairly close proximity to each other, allowing for relationships to develop between uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and grandparents.

• The length of time people would work not only on a single profession, but quite often for a single employer, was significantly longer than it is today. It was not uncommon for people to spend 20 to 30 years, or perhaps even an entire career, with loyalty to a company or a supervisor.

 The length of time people would live in a single home was much longer than it is today. The concept of “starter,” “middle,” “dream,” and “retirement” homes is a relatively new phenomenon in our social structure.

 The speed of change in our culture has continued to increase. New technologies and the availability of communication in ways we couldn’t even dream of just 20 years ago have completely changed the way we live. And the world we live in is socially and theologically pluralistic. Absolutes are rare and values of individualism are celebrated culturally over values of community.

So how do people of faith live in this type of a world? How do we relate to a narrative that we consider to be unchanging and enduring across time?

Effective youth and family ministry is rooted. We are rooted to avoid our theology and our doctrine from being blown about by the winds of change. That is not to say that we don’t continue to ask questions, to examine doctrine, and to grow. However, we must be rooted.

We are rooted in the Word of God in written form which is the norm of our faith. All that we do in youth and family ministry must tell the story of the God of love. We are rooted in the Word of God incarnate, which centers our faith on the love and grace of God as the initiating factor of our relationship with the Holy. All that we do in youth and family ministry points towards Jesus Christ.

We are rooted in Word and Sacrament, receiving the gifts and the promises which God gives freely to all of God’s people. And we are rooted (but not bound by) our Lutheran traditions, which have historically framed our life together.

Finally, we are rooted in the Great Commission, which calls us to reach beyond ourselves to people in need to serve as witness to God’s love, and which calls us to look beyond our traditions to reach to those we have never reached to before, sharing God’s love and including all in the inheritance and blessing that is the grace of God.

To be rooted is to always ask ourselves the question: “Is what we’re doing focused on forming faith in the God who creates, redeems and sustains his people?” A ministry that is mature can look at what it does and boldly answer “yes!” to this question.

Faith Lutheran Church - 155 Boyson Road, Marion, IA 52302 - 319.377.9700