Is this cost effective?

In the past three years or so I have often been asked,

“Is this cost effective?”

Meaning, aren’t you throwing money away by “walking with so few kids through life?

And upon hearing this question, I was not sure if I wanted to cry or scream. Realizing that if a church youth group, or a para-church outreach ministry, has 200 kids in their weekly ministry, but 10 years later only 5-10 of those kids are still “walking” with Christ…is that truly cost effective?

Jesus himself did not spend the majority of his time with the masses…yes, he preached to them and did outreach type things with them…but the majority of his time was spent “mentoring” and “walking through life” with 12 men…more specifically three men (Peter, James and John) who were the ones God used to turn this world updside down.

So who are we to think we can do more, or better, than God himself?

Would it not, in the long run, be more cost effective to invest in a small number of children for a long period of time, seeing these children grow to be Christ-changed, hope-filled, productive adults who multiply themselves to the point they are changing everything around them?

From an investement standpoint, if I were investing in stocks, and I was only getting a 2-5% return on my investments I am not sure I would stick with them. Why is our investements in how we disciple children in youth any different?

What kind of a return are you getting on your investment?

“…When the focus is on youth development, nearly 70% of young people in the most challenging of life’s conditions not only survive, but grow into thriving adults.”
-Resiliency: What We Have Learned, Bonnie Benard

Now that is what I call getting “bang for your buck;” just imagine adding the power of God’s love to that? Wow!!

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