Perspective. The glass is half full or half empty. It depends upon your perspective. Rain falls in the summer time bringing joy to the farmer and dismay to the vacationer. It depends upon your perspective.

I was in grade school during the Cold War years. I remember seeing U.S. President Reagan and Soviet President Brezhnev on the news, in our school magazines, and even in comic strips. These countries boycotted each other’s summer Olympics. They developed enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world several times. Movie producers routinely chose Russian’s as sinister villains. Russia was the enemy.

Recently I invested a week teaching Transformational Leadership at a Russian seminary. As a boy I watched on television as the Russian government parades its Red Army with tanks, troops and missiles through Red Square so the world and its foe, the US, would cower in fear. A strange sensation enveloped me as I stood in the place I had only experienced from a distance. I looked around Red Square and gained a new perspective. When asked what the Red in Red Square meant I still responded from childhood memories. I thought “Red” must stand for Communist or Blood (the Russian execution block still stands in Red Square today). I was surprised to learn “Red” is the Russian word for beautiful. My tainted perspective caused me to look for the dangerous, sinister meaning behind a word that merely described the square’s breath-taking beauty. As I laughed, cried, strategized and prayed with Russian brothers and sisters in Christ my perspective was changed indefinitely. My perspective changed. Your perspective may need to change too.

Christian Endeavor provides a youth equipping perspective. One’s youth ministry perspective impacts how they approach this important church responsibility. Youth ministry is not successful just because lots of teens show up. Youth ministry is not successful if teens show up and adults conduct all of the work. Discipleship doesn’t look like that, and neither should our youth training ground. Youth ministry is not successful unless there is life-change happening. Youth ministry is successful if it is done Biblically with an intentional eye toward equipping youth as Christ-Centered leaders. This is C.E.’s youth ministry perspective. Consider your perspective.

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