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|33. Funny Friday #16|
|From Youth Ministry Ideas on Friday, May 10, 2013 @ 5:03 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
Saw this happy Mother's day video about 7 years ago and still makes me laugh. Ahhh brothers growing up! Read More...
|34. Dear Youth Leader,|
|From Dare 2 Share Ministries International on Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 8:37 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
Dear Youth Leader, As you read this letter perhaps it's 9:25pm on a Wednesday night. The last teenager and adult volunteer have left the building and you're stuck folding the metal chairs and doing your best to clean the youth room so the church custodian doesn't get mad at you...again. To add insult to spilt Coke, tonight may have been one of "those" nights for you. Your jokes fell flat and that group of arrogant churchy kids (who always sit in the back left corner) were mocking you with whispers from their giggling Pharisee paradise. The preacher's kid glared at you, daring you to call out daddy's dearest in public. You took his dare and was met with rolling eyes and heavy sighs by him and his sarcastic posse. Down deep inside you may be wondering if you're making a difference at all. You're scrolling through your weekly to do list and it may seem more like meetings than mission. You're tired of the stress youth ministry triggers at home, at church and, most of all, down deep inside your own heart. You may be thinking about giving up. You may be wondering if it's worth the small paychecks and big headaches. You may be considering hanging up your paintball gun and canceling your subscription to Group Magazine. Don't. It is worth it. It's worth every late night text from every frantic teen girl who just got dumped. It's worth every angry phone call from a can't-understand-why-you-let-those-kids-in-youth-group parent. Think about Jenna who put her trust in Jesus last summer at camp. She was a cutter and suicidal. But your talk on Friday night made her run to the front of the auditorium and collapse in your arms sobbing. But she wasn't really running to you. She was running to Jesus and he was hugging her through you. And you can't forget about Jake, the tough kid who Jeremy brought out to youth group last month. Not only did he believe in Jesus as a result of Jake sharing the gospel with him, but now he's leading the charge for evangelism at Jefferson High School. And it all started when you taught Jeremy to share his faith and then challenged him to do it. Degree by degree your teens are changing. Every talk you give, every mission trip you coordinate and every prayer you utter are nudging most of your teens closer to Jesus in often imperceptible but deeply undeniable ways. Don't let the left corner kids discourage you. Don't let that nemesis elder dissuade you. Don't let the politics of puberty rob you of your calling. Keep praying, teaching and discipling. Keep energizing to evangelize. Keep loving teens relentlessly with the love of Jesus. And one day, when you collapse in his arms after a job well done, you'll hear "Well done" whispered in your ear. In a flash he'll show you the kingdom impact you made in the form of changed lives and saved souls. He'll show you how he used all the youth ministry trials you endured to make you more dependent on him and, as a result, more effective in your ministry. He'll show you the full extent of your investment. That will be the real payday. That will be the ultimate pay off. On that day you'll realize in full that it was all worth it. So, until that day, stand your post and embrace your calling. You are a youth leader. Read More...
|35. YM Essentials: Building A Team Of Volunteers (Who Aren't Just Like You)|
|From youthministry360 on Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 7:39 AM PST|
in the "Resources" Category.
One afternoon, our youth ministry organized a service day for our teenagers at a local food bank. Mark, a sophomore in high school, was one of the students who had been assigned to ride with me. As we walked to the parking lot together, he asked if John, a youth leader on our team, was coming. When I told him John wasn't able to make it to that event, Mark replied, "That's too bad. He has a lot cooler music in his car than you do." While some in that situation might have been offended, I wasn't. I was grateful. Mark was a pretty unique teenager, and while I enjoyed hanging out with him, no one on our team could connect with him like John.You probably have a similar story in your youth ministry: There's a student you've never really been able to connect with, but who really has a great relationship with another leader. If you think your students, you'll likely notice that certain students tend to gravitate towards certain leaders because of their personality, background, or age. If students tend to connect with leaders they can identify with, what does that say about the kind of team of leaders we should be building? As you build and lead your team, do you put much thought into the fact that a more diverse team will be able to serve a more diverse group of teenagers? In case it's not something you've every considered before, here are three things to keep in mind as you build your team:Make an effort to recruit leaders who are unlike you.You probably already know that the best way to recruit leaders is to invite them personally. The problem is that our default mode is to invite leaders who tend to be like us. If we only recruit leaders to our team who are like us, then we're in danger of building teams who can connect only to teenagers who are like us. Get the picture? To serve a diverse team of teenagers, we need to invite people who are not like us to be on our team; people who might have different tastes in music, different personalities, different experiences, and so on.Think about the kinds of teenagers God might be calling you to reach.Chances are, your goal as a youth pastor is to reach teenagers. But have you ever stopped to think about what kind of teenagers God is asking you to reach? Maybe God is asking you to start focusing more on the teenagers in your church's neighborhood—and those teenagers might not think, act, and look just like you. How can you add members to your team that can connect with those teenagers and their families? It might be as simple as adding some leaders who can help you reach those kids who skateboard in your church parking lot after school. Or the changes to your team might be deeper (and more difficult), such as looking at the racial diversity of your neighborhood as compared with the racial diversity of your leadership team. It could be that God is asking you to reach teenagers near your church that you have ignored for far too long. Does the diversity of your team reflect your desire to reach those teenagers?Pray for (and invite) leaders who are better at youth ministry than you.This might be hard to hear, so I'll say it quickly and be grateful that I won't be in the same room as you read this: You aren't the best small group leader, or Bible study teacher in your church. In fact, depending on your church, you may not even be in the top five. I recently sat in on one of our high school small groups. One of the adult leaders masterfully led a thirty-minute discussion about "tough questions" for a group of mostly freshman boys who rarely sit still the other six days of the week. By the end, I had a realization: This guy is far better at this than I'll ever be. Thankfully, my church didn't hire me to be the best small group leader on our team. It's not in my job description, as far as I can remember. And it's probably not in yours, either. Our job as youth pastors is to create an environment where high school students can meet Jesus and grow in their relationship with Him. A big part of that is building a team of youth leaders who may actually be better at relational ministry, or leading a Bible study that we are. ?Certainly there are more factors that determine how you build a diverse team. Which factors do you focus on? Read More...
|36. Youth Ministry Handoff: A Response|
|From YouthMinistry.com on Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 2:02 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
Kurt & Josh continue to offer great topics and content with SYM Today. I was both challenged by the thought-provoking journal questions and encouraged by the practical transition suggestions. This week they have out done themselves by including a Football analogy. So, in keeping with the "football" theme, I wanted to play a little Thursday morning quarterback. It starts with the General Manager (Christian Education Committee) - One way we have found to create harmony, is to know and develop together each departments 3 year scope. Knowing what other classes are teaching and what is coming next allows us to teach on the same topic or book of the Bible throughout the many classes. This doesn't always work through "Big Church", but if a series is known early enough we can connect to that topic as well. Leaving space for an "audible" to be called is important. Something that is relevant to now can make a huge impact instead of strictly going by the game plan. For example, taking time to work through the recent Boston Marathon tragedy. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Help Your Students "Thrive", Even in Transition +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The roll of the Cheerleaders is crucial - Kurt & Josh wrote about this briefly, but I wanted to emphasize the importance of cheering on our students when opportunity presents itself. We are small enough that all our Sunday School classes are at our "Promotion Sunday". This is a great time to celebrate as our students move from one class to the next with certificates, pictures, applause, and smiles. Also, consider using this opportunity to connect with parents of students moving up to your team. Use every chance you can find to celebrate with students during their accomplishments. read more Read More...
|37. Youth Worker BOOST: Rental Faith|
|From youthministry360 on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 7:04 AM PST|
in the "Resources" Category.
ym360 knows youth workers. We know what an incredibly rewarding, yet incredibly challenging job youth ministry can be. There are days when your spirits are sky-high, and there are days when you could use a bit of a "pick me up" from God's Word . . .That's why we're happy to offerYouth Worker Boost, one of the many valuable resources on the ym360 Blog. Boost is a short, weekly piece of encouragement designed to, well, "boost" your spirits and encourage you as you minister to students. We consider it yet another great opportunity to serve you and your ministry.CLICK HERE to have the Youth Worker Boost delivered right to your inbox whenever we publish a new one! We call these the E-BOOST! "Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?' They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.' 'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered, 'The Christ of God.'"--Luke 9:18-20There was a newscast recently that shed light on a relatively new issue plaguing certain sectors of our country. In this economy, where foreclosures are at an all time high, people who rent their homes are frequently finding them trashed by the people renting them. Or when Banks come to take over a home whose owners are being evicted, they find the home in disrepair.There was a very significant point made in regards to why this was occurring so frequently: People don't value what they don't own.You may be ministering to some students who are living with a faith they borrowed from their parents. Len Woods, author of the book, "Unofficial Guide to Life After High School," says that "borrowed faith is when people talk about God and do things for God instead of spending time with God." This describes many of our students, doesn't it? And it might describe many of us. But it doesn't describe Peter. Peter knew Jesus intimately and had no problem confessing that He was the Messiah. Do your students have a real or a borrowed faith? Better yet, what about you? Do you spend more time "doing for God" or more time hanging out with Him? Has your time of seeking Him personally been replaced with office work and and logistics? If so, ask yourself: "Is this what God intended when He called me to this ministry?"Like He did with Peter, Jesus is asking us and our students if we know Him. This question may be the most important one we'll ever answer.Our prayer for you: We pray that you would be able to know where you stand in regards to your relationship with God. If it's time you turned back toward Him and reorganized your priorities, our prayer is that you have the strength to make that change. Look for a new Youth Worker Boost each Wednesday on the ym360 Blog.Last Week's BOOST:The Source Of Our StrengthNext Week's BOOST: Hello Neighbor Get more BOOST articles HERE! Read More...
|38. Great leadership is as simple as a cup of coffee…|
|From YouthWorkTalk.com on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 5:01 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
Great leadership is as simple as a cup of coffee. I was reminded of the reality of this statement recently when I went on a java run for my staff. When I entered the office with four cups of joe I was greeted with joy, excitement and appreciation. There was a new mood in the [...]You just finished reading Great leadership is as simple as a cup of coffee...! Read More...
|39. FREE Parenting eBook for Helping Teens Answer Tough Questions|
|From Life in Student Ministry on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 5:00 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
Children and teenagers ask a lot of tough questions. This free ebook equips parents and youth workers with Biblical answers to those questions. Read More...
|40. Youth Ministry Transitions|
|From YouthMinistry.com on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 2:02 AM PST|
in the "Blog" Category.
This is a season of transitions in our ministry. In just a couple of weeks the 6th-graders will be moving into our junior high ministry, our new freshman will be entering high school, and our just-graduated seniors will be moving up into the college-level program. It's a bittersweet time of excitement for the new, mixed with the loss of incredible students who are no longer formally in your care. Today we hope to provide you with a few keys to make the transitions smooth in your church. As we learned yesterday, the youth ministry "handoff" can be a time when students fail to make the move up in one of their life's most challenging times. Here are some thoughts to make them go well. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Help Your Grads Start The Next Season With This Graduation Bundle +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Work in harmony with the other areas of ministry. If you work in junior high ministry, you should be in relationship with the children's ministry leaders. If you're the new college pastor, one of your first steps should be to develop a relationship with the youth workers who care for your high school students. Know their programs, their wins and losses, and reach down to grab students to pull them up. Prepare your students for what is ahead. ?As recently as this past year we had a few graduating seniors that LOVED our youth ministry but had never been to "big church" before. We love that they loved us, but it was sad that they only really knew youth group and had not become part of the whole church. Some of those conversations became the genesis of the Worship Together Weekends we've talked about so much in the past. (If you don't know what WTW is, click here for more details.)read more Read More...
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