Youth ministry offers many churches their best—and perhaps only—opportunity to reach middle- and high-school students and teach them about the love of Christ. It's a critical effort that deserves our full attention as we watch an increasingly changing landscape of beliefs, attitudes, and morals unfold in American culture. Connecting with these students requires the full commitment of church leaders to properly staff and resource their youth ministries, and to make certain the work done speaks deeply to these students in contexts they know and understand.
This is hard work. It often requires creativity and flexibility, ranging from socially minded service projects to pick-ups and drop-offs of students to ongoing exchanges of texts with students to remind them of upcoming events.
This creativity and flexibility may be essential. It also may introduce potential risk and legal liabilities that the church must be prepared to address.