Permission forms, teenage drama, and helicopter parents are a few of the things that can make youth ministry complicated. While some of it you can control others you have to just deal with.
Youth ministry will be messy but it doesn’t have to be complex. As a youth minister you need to work hard to keep your processes and programs simple. To accomplish simplicity you need to:
Would you go back to a restaurant if you found that the silver ware was dirty or the staff was unfriendly? Probably not. You wouldn’t care how well they maintained their book keeping and that’s because hospitality matters.
Whether you like it or not people will judge a book by it’s cover. It doesn’t matter how great your theology or apologetics are if teens feel uncomfortable and unwelcome they won’t come back. Your youth ministry’s cover is the environment teens walk into on a regular basis. To make them hospitable you need to:
It’s heartbreaking when you learn a former teen is no longer going to church. You feel like a failure and wonder, “Could I have done something more?”
It’s easy to beat yourself up, but you have to remember that we all have free will. While you cannot control all of their decision you can have an influence. To cut down on the turnover and encourage teens to stay connected to the church years after they are gone you need to make sure you are:
Parents used to scare me. I used to think they were out to get me because many interactions were filled with criticism, disappointment and stress.
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It’s taken me years of ministry and having kids of my own to realize that parent’s are not looking to pick a fight. Instead they are looking for assistance, insight and guidance when it comes to their own teenager. As youth ministers we need to come alongside of parents by:
It’s a moment many of us face if you’ve been in youth ministry more than a month. It’s that moment when you are getting into your car or your bed and you wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
A big problem with youth ministry is that many people do not know why it exists. It’s seen as unnecessary or irrelevant. Many youth ministries are being eliminated or consolidated into a family ministry. Youth ministry is necessary because it provides: