Yesterday, I had lunch with one of my youth group graduates who’s now in college. As our time together drew to a close, this student pondered, “So how long can we keep getting together like this?”
In processing her question, here’s what I think she was wondering:
"Even though I’m not in your youth ministry anymore, do you still care about me?"
"Even though I’m in college, is our church still my home?"
To me, this girl’s question points to the challenge we face in youth ministry. How can we show our youth ministry graduates the continued love and support of our congregation while simultaneously launching them into the next phase of their spiritual lives, a phase that requires them to be less dependent on us for their spiritual growth?
I’ll admit I don’t have this figured out. Even so, here are some of the strategies my congregation is using in order to better navigate this transition: