Last Friday I wrote a post about the importance of youth ministry mentoring. If you are new to youth ministry, mentoring will help you break into the trenches and grow your ministry. A mentor reminds you that you aren’t alone and encourages you in the battlefields of youth ministry.
Today, I wanted to take the time to encourage those of you who have been in youth ministry for several years (5+) to reach out to those starting out. The idea of giving back and pouring into the next generation might seem attractive; however, a few of the push backs might be:
- I don’t have time.
- I don’t have anything to offer.
- I don’t know how to find someone.
While you might feel overwhelmed or unequipped to handle this responsibility it’s important to know how important it is for veterans to pour into that next generation. As a veteran you have EXPERIENCE, you know your COMMUNITY, and you have faced plenty of CHALLENGES. Don’t be afraid to share your story with others, not only will you equip them for the future, but enable yourself to pass the baton when your time is done.
To effectively mentor new youth ministers you need to make sure you:
- Know The Need – Even if your church is across the street the needs of your ministry will be different from theirs. To understand where they need help and how to guide them means listening. Know their needs by hearing their problems, get to know their obstacles and observe their ministry.
- Invest In Them Relationally - Whether it’s a conversation over a cup of coffee or inviting them(And their family) to a family barbecue, take the time to get to know them outside of the church. Your attention to them as a person versus just another youth minister will remind them they are not alone in the trenches.
- Bless Them With Resources - It’s amazing how many resources I’ve collected over the years. Now that I’m more confident in my ministry I do not need everything I have. Instead of throwing it away, give it to someone started out. Share with them how you used the different videos, books and curriculum that has helped you. Give them the insight into what youth ministry resources they should invest in financially.
- Check In Consistently - Even if you cannot meet with them face to face on a regular basis give them the proper mediums to drop in and ask questions. Let them know your boundaries and ask them if it’s okay if you can check in on them every week, month, etc. Let them know you’ll be there next to them along the way.
When you partner with someone new to the trenches you give them the confidence they need to face the long road ahead of them. Mentoring the next generations of youth ministers is a great practice for mentoring your volunteers. Just because you are the youth minister doesn’t mean you are the only leader. Don’t just grow disciples of Christ, grow leaders who will walk with this next generation.
What do you love most about the man or woman that has mentored you?