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Ditch The Show

Ditch The Show

By Aaron Olson on June 25, 2013

I consider myself a veteran of youth ministry.  I have served in youth ministry for over a decade now, and have seen various types of environments.  I have been in megachurches with youth ministries of 1200+ students, and also youth ministries of 8 students.  Each youth ministry is organized and ran differently, but they all have the same objective (for the most part): Help the students draw closer to Jesus.

This can happen in various ways.  Some ministries prefer to be games centered.  Some teaching centered.  Others worship.  Others prayer.  I think each avenue has a valuable impact on reaching this generation for Jesus.  But, I have also noticed one downfall in youth ministry currently.  The show.

Many churches use the excuse of “trying to be relevant” that they replace the relevance of the Bible and Jesus with entertainment.  As a youth pastor this breaks my heart.  Pastors wear the cool clothes (myself included) to “fit in”.  As pastors/leaders we are not called to fit in, but to stand out and call our students to stand out as well.  And I will be straight up....this “fit in/relevant/be cool” mentality affects worship leaders the most.  

Let me explain my reasoning.  And please realize that this is not an overarching statement that encompasses all worship leaders.  This is simply something I have seen over the course of my 10+ years in ministry.

Many worship leaders have lost sight of the key word in their title:  Worship.  Many youth worship leaders (and adult service worship leaders) have lost the worship identity and taken on the showman mentality.  Worship is not a show but an act of service.  My youth ministry doesn’t have the fancy lights or fancy musicians.  (Not that I wouldn’t want those things because honestly, I would.  I think technology plays a great role in developing the environment of our services.)  But our worship team worships.  None of them desire to be on stage.  But when they are, their eyes are closed and they are entering the Kingdom of Heaven for themselves, not for us.  I love it!

Why?  Because it is easier to worship with the leader when they are worshipping for themselves.  Your passion pours out onto us.  We see you crying out to God, raising your hands in praise, and it invokes a sense of passion in our hearts.  Authentic prayer and worship will develop a HEALTHY, PASSIONATE, GOD FEARING AND GOD LOVING youth ministry faster than games and entertainment ever will.

So as a youth pastor I plead with you.  Ditch the show.  Lose the cool.  Step into being a WORSHIP leader, not a worship LEADER.  This generation and the next will thank you, and so will I.

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Aaron Olson

Aaron Olson

Aaron has been involved in youth ministry in some capacity for the last 10 years, and currently serves as youth pastor at Rock Family Church in Colorado Springs, CO.  Aaron's heart beats for this generation and for his local youth ministry, but he also loves to travel and speak at various ministries across the country.  Aaron is married to the most amazing woman, Chelsea, and they have a beautiful daughter, Hadlee. Find out more about Aaron at www.aaronolsonministries.com