It can be a struggle to get your ministry noticed by the rest of the church. As a youth minister you know teens can contribute and have an impact. The challenge is getting other people to see it too.
If your youth ministry isn’t noticed it can feel like an afterthought. So, how does a ministry rise to the surface? How do you start getting others to invest and advocate for you? It begins by:
No one had shown up to their small group. I could tell morale for these leaders were at an all time low. No one likes to feel like a failure. The truth is that life happens. And there are many reasons teens will stop showing up.
Whatever you do, do NOT assume there is only one reason to why they won’t show. When you assume you start creating scapegoats which alleviate responsibility from your shoulders. When teens stop showing up or have missed for a while you need to:
A part of youth ministry is disappointment. Volunteers will quit when you are already short staffed. Teenager who are growing in faith will hit stumbling blocks. You’ll have parents no show after you’ve spent hours putting together a workshop for their benefit.
While you are allowed to be disappointed and angry, you also need realistic expectations. The goal in youth ministry is to CHALLENGE and ENCOURAGE. The problem is when we set people up to fail and discourage them instead.
To communicate and set realistic expectations you need to:
Even as a parent I still find serving other parents a little overwhelming. One moment they can seem pleasant, the next moment it feels like they are coming at you with a thousand emotions. It can drive a youth minister crazy. If you are intimidated or overwhelmed by parents the problem isn’t them, it’s your strategy for serving them.
A lot of youth ministers (Including myself) have pounded the drum, “PARTNER WITH PARENTS” and “GET THE PARENTS MORE INVOLVED“. Here’s the question:
I got an email from a parent I had never met with the title YOUR PROGRAM. I wanted to hide from it, because I assumed, “This is going to be bad.”
I opened it and on the other end was praise and thanks for the way we had impacted her daughter. I love feedback like that. I wish all feedback was like that.
If all feedback was positive we wouldn’t mind it so much. That’s just not the reality. There will be times when people are critical and it can hurt.
Positive or negative we need feedback because it helps us as a leader. It’s got power to move and change your ministry because it: