If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask Him
?” (Luke 11:13, NASB)

Group of TeensI have always thought this verse was a wonderful verse on God’s goodness and His willingness to answer prayers, but this morning I noticed what this verse really says: The Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!

What are we trying to give students? There are certainly a lot of good things we give students in small church youth ministry: a tight group of a few peers to do life with, adults who really care about them, opportunities to make a difference within the church and outside. All of that is great. We give them pizza, and trips to the water park, and lots of opportunities to share a laugh.

But God gives them Himself. He IS the gift.

Is it possible that we focus on the wrong things in youth ministry? At the end of the day, all the good stuff we offer students isn’t really worth all that much if they miss the big gift. Perhaps it is worth considering this week: What are you doing to help students to experience the gift of God’s Spirit, the gift of His presence?

Paul Kelly is the Founder and President of SmallYouthGroup.com, an online ministry for youth leaders in smaller churches. He also teaches youth ministry and Christian education at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California.

Category : leadership


Jay McSwain April 13, 2012

I always enjoy reading your perspective in smallyouthgroup.com. When I read your article I find myself reflecting and thinking on your article all day long. Thanks for taking your talents, gifts and life experiences to help me think about focusing on the right things in life and ministry.

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