First Third Conversations

Stewardship as a paradigm for Youth Ministry?

  This article was originally published on 5/21/2013 on

The night before taking my first group of young people to camp as a rookie youth director, I became consumed by a desire to purchase a pair of brightly colored sneakers.  Feeling like I was on a game show to find the perfect pair of sneakers before the store closed, I finally landed on a pair of electric blueberry cross-trainers.  They were awesome – just like the ones I had seen on countless 11 to 14 year-olds throughout the summer programming I was in charge of at my church.  My bags still weren’t packed, I didn’t have enough gas in my tank to get me to church the next morning for our departure, and I had yet to set an out-of-office message for all of the emails I was sure to get while I was away; but hot dog, did I have cool shoes.  Figuring that my crew of young people would acknowledge my keen observation of adolescent style, I felt cool and relatable because I was “keeping up with the junior highers’.”  Consumerism’s seductive summons had lured me in, and I had completely missed the point of getting to spend a week in community with 75 beautifully made, uniquely suffering young people.  This revelation inspired me to rethink the ways in which we’re socialized “to be,” using stewardship as my framework.  Stewardship, as a way of tending to the relationship of self, God, and community, perpetually asks the question: What would God have me to do with these?  It’s changed everything.

Read Sarah's Thesis here: 

I’m Sarah and it’s good to know you!  A little bit about me: I love singing, being outside, and thinking about how the first third of life integrates into the whole life of the church.  I can’t get enough of my family’s three-year-old chocolate lab, Rigby and look forward to sinking back into some pre-seminary routines now that I am post-seminary, like running (with Rigby!) and reading unassigned books!    

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