The Middle Years Ministry

Formerly "The JH Uth Guy", THE MIDDLE YEARS MINISTRY is a Site Dedicated to Providing Resources, Ideas, and Help to Pastors, Leader, Directors, Teachers, Mentors and Anyone Else Working in
the
Pivotal and Important 5th-9th Grade Years. The "Middle Years" are not children's ministry, not high school ministry, and are more than just Middle School. It is a unique and specialized ministry.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Teaching Vs. Reaching Church?

I just recently started at a new church, as the 5th-8th grade pastor.  Over the last 2 weeks, it has been a refreshing and re-awakening time for me in ministry and for my family.   After serving in ministry for 22 years and growing up in and around church, this new place is what I have been seeking.  It is a place about not just teaching believers but reaching out to everyone...anyone!  This week I sat and listened to the heart of my new Sr. Pastor's wife, who serves as a missions and missional living director for this new church.  Her heart and words just oozed the "Great Commission" and "Great Command"  much like her husband's words from the stage each week. 2 nights ago our church threw a night celebrating the past year's missions trips and introducing our local missional partners in the local area.

All of this stands in stark contrast, to a conversation I had exited my last church and the final conversations with my leadership at that church. During that conversation, I heard a phrase that still echoes in my ear, that I think unfortunately echoes in too many hallways and offices. Even though often it is not spoken aloud, it is the unspoken understanding-  


"We are a teaching church not a reaching church...." 

There IS a difference, especially when it comes to how we approach our youth ministries in theses contexts.   Here are my 10 quick thoughts about the difference between "Teaching Church" and a "Reaching Church"...

10. Care for "Our" Kids vs Care for "Their" Kids? 

9. Comfortable in my Seat vs Uncomfortable on my Feet? 

8.  Inward Focus vs. Outward Focus? 

7. Lecture Hall vs. Hospital Hallway.  

6. Who is heading to Seminary vs. Who is heading to the Cemetery?  

5. Accept the Facts vs. Accept in Faith? (*see photo above from a sermon a few weeks ago)

4.  Earthly Knowledge vs. Heavenly Wisdom? 

3. An "Us vs. The World" mindset vs. an "Us for World" mindset? 

2. Defending Faith (apologetics) vs. Sharing Faith (evangelism)? 

1. Programming vs. Ministering

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