Sending or Receiving?



By Shawn Kiger

Last week during a training event I attended, the presenter said that the church is really good at attracting but bad at sending. I have been thinking about that quote since then, and I think it is spot on.

Youth ministry is the same way. We spend lots of time thinking up ways to attract new students. What will get them in the door? 

We also spend a lot of time figuring out how to keep them. How do we follow up when they visit the first time? What do we do if they miss a few weeks? Will they come back and can I get them to bring a friend?

Don’t get me wrong, all of these things are really important. We need to be reaching out to youth who are not involved in a church. We need to think about how we can grow. But is it the most important thing?

What if I put in as much or more time into sending as I do attracting? Maybe I should be more concerned with sending my students out into the world to make a difference in Christ’s name. Instead of wondering if our youth group time was fun enough that they will want to come back next week, maybe I should be wondering if our time together was transforming in a way that they will live it out this week.

What would our youth ministries and churches look like if we were sending them out to make a difference and not worrying if they were going to come back next week? I don’t have an answer to all of those questions, but I do think it’s worth considering what sending out would look like in our churches. Maybe if we did it well enough, we would not have to worry about our ministries being attractive enough.