I used to have that awkward encounter where I would run into a teen that had not shown up to our ministry for a while. You know that one that used to come every week and then stopped. You say, “Hey, how’s it going?” when you really want to ask them, “Why haven’t you been coming back?”
The reality is that each teen is facing obstacles, and temptations preventing them from coming back. While some of the reasons are out of your control, there are 6 action steps you can take to make sure more teens are coming back. They are:
I remember asking my grandmother to teach me how to cook. She asked me why and I told her, “I wanted to woo girls.” I truly believed that if I mastered the art of cooking I would win over the woman of my dreams.
IT WORKED. Ask my wife and she’ll tell you one of the reasons she married me (and is still married to me) is because I know how to cook well.
Mastering the art of cooking might help you in marriage (and life). But, it’s not going to get you far in youth ministry. If you want to take your ministry to the next level you need to make sure you master the:
“Tone is the hardest part of saying no.”
- Jonathan Price, Put That In Writing
The word, “NO” holds a lot of power. It’s one that determines whether or not something happens. While tone is an important part of saying, “No”. It can be a stressful and difficult to say. But, you know you need to say it. And the reason you need to say, “NO.” is because:
A few months back I had a young woman ask me, “How do I convince my pastor to make my position full time?” I sensed frustration on the end. She had been advocating for the position for quite some time but wasn’t making any progress.
If there are teenagers in your community, you need a full time youth ministry. While that might not be fiscally possible, it still should be a goal., it should be a goal to fund. With a full time youth minister you can invest in a young church and the future church.
So, why the push back? Why, aren’t churches going above and beyond to hire men and women full time to pour into the next generation? It’s because:
I was jealous. In my third year of ministry we booked a guest speaker on purity. Everyone was engaged and into it. I couldn’t believe it. I would constantly struggle to get their attention. I wondered, “What was the difference?” He spoke with authority.
It can be difficult to engage teenagers. To compete with what is going on their lives is a challenge. They are constantly told one thing over another and need help sorting it out. Content is important, but it’s not the only thing. If you do not know how to deliver your message with authority no one will listen.
To speak with authority means to have control and command over your audience. In other words people are fully engaged. When they are engaged they will listen. To speak with authority you need to: