Last week I was in Austria meeting with church leaders and what struck me was the similarity in some of the obstacles they faced. When it comes to reaching the next generation they were finding despite all their efforts nothing was changing.
Youth ministry can get frustrating because the amount of work you put into it doesn’t always match the reward you expect to get from it. This can only mean two things, you either need to:
Confirmation preparation isn’t always a process people want to embrace. While it’s an important part of the Catholic (and other denominations) faith formation it’s often filled with consumeristic demands and requirements that can make it a logistical nightmare for both parents, teens and parish employees.
The solution? Is to change your perspective as the leader. Instead of hesitating and going into the program reluctantly you need to embrace it and make sure you aren’t just going through the motions. To build a dynamic Confirmation preparation it’s not just about the content, it’s also about:
I love helping out a teenager; however, my eyes roll every time I have to sign off on a service hour requirement for school. While I love the fact that teens are getting involved I don’t like that it’s become a requirement.
Teenagers need to serve because it helps them grow as disciples, but making them do it as a requirement is not the answer. If you want to grow disciples who serve locally, nationally and internationally because they Love God and Love Others then you need to make sure you:
There is the pastor that never shows up or even asks about your ministry. Then there is the one who is more involved than he should be. Both can drive a youth minister nuts.
The question isn’t which one would you prefer, but how can you plug in your pastor without having him take over? While some might prefer one over the other you need to have your pastor involved to a certain degree because your ministry is an extension of his own.
To plug him in and maintain boundaries it’s important to:
It started out as frustration and quickly turned into resentment. My expectations as a leader were not being met. People weren’t performing the tasks or doing them subpar. After sharing this disappointment with a youth minister friend he was quick to point out that I was a part of the problem.
I had expectations, but I wasn’t doing anything to set my team up for success. Instead I assumed that they would just pick up their roles and responsibilities naturally. I learned to set them up for success you need to: