There are days when I question the importance and the validity of youth ministry. Days when my dreams and ambitions for it are squashed by some negative comment from a teen or parent. Or when I find myself alone at the youth meeting with 21 kids and no other worker to be found. Or driving home from the ski rally with a bandaged knee wondering how I am going to explain this one to the board and my wife. Then I remember the time God touched a stone cold heart and tears begin to fill my eyes.

Lance (not his real name) was one of your typical church kids. “The Inoculated Christian” – one who has had enough of Christianity to immunize him from the real thing. You know the type. He had spent most of his life in one church service or another. He could quote more scripture than Paul the Apostle. He had more talent and energy than the rest of the group put together. Now he wasn’t a dumb kid, but he sure did some stupid things. Like dropping out of school with less than a month to go until graduation. Or the time he got his car stuck in a creek on the armed forces’ testing range.

“Angleas” just weren’t meant for four-wheeling. Then there was the time he took Mr. Smiths’ brand new Chrysler New Yorker and daughter for a joy ride during camp. Why Lance? The rest of the family seemed normal enough.

Then it happened. Just two weeks before his family moved out of town, God touched him. It was no special service but when the altar call was given Lance headed to the front. Of course I went and prayed with him, I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. It might not happen again for a long time. After the service was over and most had gone home’, Lance came up and asked if he could be baptized in water. The next Sunday, just days before Lance and his family moved away, I had the privilege of baptizing him in the name of the Lord Jesus. Eight years have passed since that day and Lance is now married with two kids of his own, and pastoring a youth group!

Why I believe in youth ministry? Because of people like Lance.

Rev. Chris Cormack

Youth Pastor,

Queens Avenue Apostolic,

Victoria, B.C.

Originally published in the March 1989 newsletter