I'll never forget the sign I saw on the big bakery van driving down the narrow streets of Estes Park, Colorado. The three simple words painted on it in big bold letters changed my life forever: "YOU NEED PIE!"
Yes, I did. Yes, I do.
Soon, I found myself meandering up to that bakery, stumbling in and proclaiming to the bake-ista, "I need pie." She smiled, sliced and served.
That simple, three word slogan may be the best advertising campaign ever...in Estes Park anyway. If there is one universal truth that is true regarding hunger pains since the existence of humanity it is that we need pie.
When it comes to youth ministry we need pie too. But this kind of pie is sliced and served by youth leader bakers who are seeking to satisify their teenagers' sprititual hankerings.
We need all sorts of pies in youth ministry. We need theology pies packed full of juicy, delicious truth. We need spiritual discipline pies that are simple, yet satisfying. We need worship pies that teach our teens the tasty wonders of worship. We need koinonia pies that are eaten together as a youth group as well as personal devotional pies that are eaten alone and usually early in the morning (Yes! Pie for breakfast!!!)
Social justice pies are on the menu too. The problem is we don't really eat those ones, but give these away to the poor and the hungry.
There are all sorts of pies that need served to all kinds of kids in the average youth ministry. But one of the most delicious and neglected pies is the evangelism pie.
In many youth ministries it is only baked by the youth leader and served to the youth group once a quarter at some sort of free pie (usually pizza pie) outreach event.
Here's the problem. This is the free pie that our teens need to be serving to their classmates, teammates and soul mates every single day, not just once a quarter. Actually, we need to teach our teens to make it, bake it and then share it.
We must provide our teens with the basic ingredients of the gospel message, teach them to pack it full of love and truth, bake it in a life well lived and then sprinkle it with their own unique story and style.
Our teenagers should be living in such a daring and delicious way that their lives are the best advertisement for this mouth-watering message of grace. Their lives should scream out to their famished friends, "YOU NEED PIE!"
Yes they do.