Recently the youth ministry took a few buses of students from the Church to the site of our monthly outing. Now if I am honest I used to dislike these bus trips, I would rather just meet the buses at the event or even better let the leaders handle the whole event and not even show up, why? Because I thought of the bus trip or at least the ride as a waste of time, with all of the emails, phone calls, text messages, and sermon preparation I have to do, the bus ride was taking valuable time. However, over time I realized that these trips are more valuable than I first thought.
The more I serve in our youth ministry and the more I travel to train and coach other youth ministry leaders one thing is always key. Every youth ministry is only as good as it’s leader and those who serve in the ministry. The problem however, in many youth ministry’s is the lack of care or concern for the youth ministry leaders themselves. While they have key roles and positions in the ministry they are also people and as leaders we need to seek ways to “cover” or guard them as they serve. Our leaders are people and not simply part of the process, but how do we do it intentionally?
I have been serving in youth ministry for several years now and I pray that God see’s fit to allow me to serve His students for many more years to come. As the years have come and gone I have succeeded and failed in ministry; some of the beliefs I had about how to serve students and some of the ways that I used to do ministry have changed. Along with leading the students at our church, I also have the privilege to train, coach, and consult with youth ministry leaders locally and across the world who are new to the role or who want to grow their ministries. One of the questions that is consistently raised is, what have you learned from your time in youth ministry? So I thought I would list the 5 things I know now that I wish I knew when I started.
The other day I was traveling and my phone battery was very low, you know when it gives you the first warning about it being low and you keep talking, emailing, tweeting, instagraming, and texting anyway. Well it was at the point where it was going to turn off on me soon, so I had to stop and get some power. This made me think about our youth ministries and how often we run in a million different directions and need to recharge the ministry before it runs out of battery as well, but how do we do this?
Following a youth service, youth Sunday, or youth lock-in there are usually students who make decisions for Christ and you are excited but you also know that it’s just the beginning for them. Are there students within your youth ministry that need to grow and develop a closer relationship with Christ? How many times have you wondered “is there a resource I could give them in order to facilitate their spiritual grow”?
Fresh is the resource you’ve been looking for; this 31-day student devotional is designed to help your student(s) mature in their faith. They will spend 5 to 10 minutes each day reading and praying through God’s Word. This devotional helps students understand and gives instruction on how to apply God’s Word in their lives. Click here to download a free sample
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Over the past few months and since I released my book, God has blessed and I have been able to do more training and teaching for youth ministry leaders and youth ministries in general. In almost every meeting, workshop, or coffee shop talk there are things that come up, which stick out as a reason why the youth ministry won’t grow and they ALL have to do with change. We have heard the saying before that anything that doesn’t change isn’t growing and will sooner or later die, but in ministry we usually like things the way they currently are. Here are 5 reasons I think your youth ministry won’t change and as a result won’t grow:
Recently I released an eBook entitled “After The Music Stops: Effective Youth Ministry Beyond The BIG Event“. In it I talk about a few things but one of the first topics I highlight is the importance of the name of the youth ministry, here is an excerpt:
“The name should indicate what people will experience when they see the name or logo of the business (at least in theory). We know, for instance that Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) means 11 herbs and spices on fried chicken, Wal-Mart means falling prices and the yellow happy face (well they used to have a happy face), Target is the red bulls eye, Nike encourages us to just do it, and the list goes on. Even in the Bible, names were very important. Names signified where people lived, what the places of worship and remembrance were, and even the names of people were chosen for their specific meaning. The same level of thought and prayerful consideration should be taken when trying to develop your youth ministry.”