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Link teens & adults, Richard Ross urges

ARLINGTON, Texas (BP)–Churches can flourish by linking adults and teens in meaningful relationships, youth ministry leader Richard Ross told youth leaders attending Baptist Youth Days at Six Flags over Texas amusement park.
Ross, a Baptist Sunday School Board staff member associated with the True Love Waits teen abstinence campaign, said “churches which open the door for adults to move to the front lines of youth ministry will prosper” in the years ahead.
Ross was among several youth ministry specialists who led daily seminars during the July 24-26 event sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, attended by more than 30,000 youth and their leaders.
“Volunteers no longer want routine, administrative roles,” Ross stated. “They want to feel a personal call to their own ministries with youth. These volunteers want (professional) ministers who will train them and open doors to them.”
Many of the volunteers will lose interest if they are simply helpers of professional staff ministers, Ross said.
“Teenagers are desperate for a sense of community, and this trend will continue to grow,” Ross added, saying young people will be drawn to churches which exemplify the scriptural description of Christian fellowships: “See how they love one another.”
Ross encouraged the leaders to lead their teenagers into activism and service.
“Leaders who assume teenagers are too self-centered to serve will miss an important trend. Service projects can be a form of outreach, and some secular groups are tapping into this trend better than some churches.”

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  • Dan Martin