By Aaron Arrowood
What does the term counter cultural mean? Bro. Aaron Arrowood, pastor of Life Apostolic Ministries in Westport, Indiana and youth pastor at The Tabernacle in Seymour, Indiana, attempts to answer that question and share his passion for youth in his book, Counter Cultural Youth Ministry.
“I felt like counter cultural was the right phrase and title, but it’s a bit of a misnomer,” explained Bro. Arrowood. “Being ‘counter’ is actually an unintended result of what we’re FOR. I believe we can inspire teens to be FOR Christ. We can create a culture in our youth groups where godliness is the in-thing . . . where prayer, reading scriptures and living according to scripture is normal.
“Today I drove by our local high school football field at 6:30 a.m. Two dozen teenagers were practicing their hearts out. Four hours later, I drove by again, and they were still there. We underestimate teenagers. I know that they can resist the draw of the world. I’m also convinced that they can live passionately for Christ. Youth ministers can become models of passionate Christianity. Like Moses, when they spend time with God (walk in the Spirit), the result will be visibly evident to students. If we pray, fast, love the Word . . . they will also.”
Bro. Arrowood said he believes that teens can be encouraged to pray every day and read the Bible through every year. “If they will live like that, they will make it to heaven and turn the world upside down in the process,” he said. “In the book, I promote the idea of having youth events every Friday. It’s a suggestion that takes a high degree of commitment, but the dividends are huge.”
When asked about successes of this approach, Bro. Arrowood answered, “One church introduced the idea of reading the Bible every day. At first they had about 20% participation. That percentage increased to about 80% over the course of a year. They still have a high percentage of students that love to read the Bible.” You may purchase the book at http://woodsongpublishing. com/shop/ for $12.95
“I’ve had several people say that the book is more than a youth ministry book. It also has a lot of practical Christian principles.” Bro. Arrowood, a graduate of Indiana Bible College, has been married for 22 years to Misty. They have two children: Matthew, 18, and Audrey, 8.