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Leading a youth church is like driving a bus

In life, we can all be afraid of losing people. One of the reasons is that we think this reflects badly on us. If people no longer want to be around us, we conclude, it must be because there is something unlikeable in us. But the truth is, we’ll never know why most people who leave us do so. And even if we did, it wouldn’t matter, because there would be nothing we could do about it anyway. This is true in organisations as well as personally. 

At our school youth church, we are privileged to have our young people with us for a minimum of 5 years, possibly 7, but then they have to move on. Some, of course, move on before this. Faithful, committed, selfless, servant-hearted young people sometimes leave us. And we have made our peace with this.

Life is a journey, and we’re all doing our best to find our way through. Some people are not meant to be with us for the duration, but we get to help them along the way while we can, and in turn we get to benefit from what they bring to us.

We have found it helpful to think of our youth church as a bus. The thing about buses is that some people get on. And some people get off. The driver doesn’t take it personally when people get off his bus. His job is to simply drive the bus to the destination displayed on the front.

Our destination is an eternal one. We want to take as many people with us as possible to the destination where we terminate. We have 3 spiritual principles to help us get there. We are a church that is:

1) By youth for youth.

2) Outward facing.

3) Seeking to grow followers of Jesus.

Some people leave only temporarily, only to get back on the bus further down the road. Young people have lots of alternative buses offered to them by our culture, and sometimes it’s a necessary part of the journey to give other buses a try. Our bus will always be there for them whenever they are ready to return.

“Then you will go in your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. For the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”
Proverbs 3:23 and 26.

Mr Pountain
Head of Religious Education/Director of Spirituality