Josh Cousineau, writing at Gospel Centered Discipleship, recently posted helpful article reminding youth pastors that they must be about more than mere behavior modification—they need to cultivate the affections of youth to whom they are ministering. Below is an excerpt from and a link to the entire article.
To truly disciple is to realign our affections - and those of the person we’re discipling - to a greater Person. Unfortunately, many youth ministries do not focus on making disciples or the heart change of their young people. Instead, behavior modification, moral change, or intellectual assent are often emphasized. This method of enacting change will never bring about true, joy-filled change. It will merely adhere to dutiful rules and regulations.
Our hearts and minds must desire something of greater worth. We need something that moves beyond and replaces the previous holder of our affections – something of supreme meaning and power. Thomas Chalmers puts it this way in The Expulsive Power of a New Affection: “We must address to the eye of his mind another object, with charm powerful enough to dispossess the first of its influence, and to engage him in some other prosecution as full of interest, and hope and congenial activity, as the former.” (Emphasis mine) In other words, the Christ of gospel must replace the thing that holds the place of highest esteem and honor in the hearts, minds, and the eyes of those who we disciple.
You can read the whole article here.