In the youth ministry that I was a part of we started doing things differently. We wanted to do things such as building relationships with the students. Not to build the relationship around the Youth Pastor/Minister only because he, yes I said he because this was long, long ago in a generation far, far away, and then to see the students implode when the he left for a bigger or another church. (Long sentence there and choppy, but you get the idea!) Anyway we decided to build relationships with the students with as many adults in their lives as we could get. So we came up with the acronym called B.I.O.N.I.C. which stood for "Believe It Or Not I Care!"
This phrase was one we said often to one another and we trained on it:
- Be available for your youth
- Initiate conversations with youth
- Operate Covertly with students but publicly. Conversations go well this way
- Never break confidences. (Unless immoral, illegal, or dangerous)
- Interest yourself into their lives, likes, dislikes, life and yes drama
- Care, really care about their spiritual growth
Now I know looking over this list you can say these are cheesy and you would probably be right. However, think about youth ministry in light of these. Isn't Youth Ministry about being their for the students, talking with them, being open and really caring about their life? Things they are doing and not doing? Above all isn't Youth Ministry about their salvation and their spiritual growth?
So after finding this old piece of paper in one of my files recently I am thinking back to all the students that I have had the joy of hearing back from over the years that I have been able to impact for the kingdom. The joy of a little girl in the 7th grade that was tall, lanky, awkward and loved basketball more than boys write me years later to tell me she was now teaching a 7th grade girls Sunday School Class. How that she remembered the things I had taught her. Wow, I did make a difference after all.
So now after all these years, in the good times and the bad times, the fun and the sad, I can proudly say, "The BIONIC Man lives!"