It happened like it’s happened many times before. After Mass a parent comes up to me to say, “I have been trying to reach you.” It’s a moment of desperation, panic or emergency in a parent’s life. They need you to assist them. The question is HOW?
As a youth minister families will come to you in time of need. Even if you are not a parent they’ll want to know how to:
- Talk to their teen about sex?
- Get them to focus on their schoolwork?
- Get them more involved in the church?
- Discipline them when they are in trouble?
The list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming to assist a family or parent in need. To get through the messiness and be there for a family make sure you:
I have been working in youth ministry since 2006, and I have been at my current parish for almost 3 years. Over the last year I have had to de-volunteer (aka ask a volunteer to leave/fire) 2 people.
In my experience, nothing can be as awkward and uncomfortable as asking a volunteer to take a break. Nobody wants to do it, but in all reality, sometimes it has to be done. From these recent experiences, I’ve learned 5 valuable lessons on the right and wrong way to de-volunteer someone:
All I felt was disappointment. I had asked my student leaders to plan the game for that evening and it was all about them. Teens were disengaged and it was a disaster. That’s when I started to wonder whether student leadership groups were worth it.
The problem is that I had found great teenagers, just with the wrong qualities. They were outgoing, and well liked, but that was not enough. When looking for student leaders you need to make sure they have the right qualities.
That’s not to say only certain teens can lead. It’s that not everyone is ready to. They might lack:
“I just don’t think they really care.” It’s a comment I hear from new youth ministers. They’ll share their frustration regarding a parent’s involvement in their ministry. Sadly they are making a crucial mistake assuming parents do not care. It could not be further from the truth.
Parents care about their teens and that can sometimes be a challenge. Parents will present a miriad of issues. You try to understand them but truth is it’s not that easy. To partner with parents you need to know how to engage them. It also means avoiding these 5 crucial mistakes youth ministers sometimes make. They are:
On Christmas Night in 1776 George Washington lead troops across the Delaware River to surprise the Hessian Troops. This surprise attack set the stage for future victories in Trenton and Princeton. It was one of the moves that saved his militia from complete defeat.
Early on in American History we learn about George Washington and his great leadership. As a country we honor his many traits:
- Integrity, etc.
On this 4th of July we remember not just George Washington but all the great men who took the risk to sign that Declaration of Independence and fought to establish this country.
There is so much you and I can learn from leaders. It’s important to embrace their traits and study their moves. Great leaders are learners so it’s important to model their behavior. For more on leadership click here.
WHAT TRAITS OF LEADERSHIP DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?