Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum and Strategy is the most mind-blowingly helpful tool available to youth workers I've ever seen! The focus is to take care of your programming so you can focus on growing authentic relationships. I can only imagine what our ministry would have done with this a few years ago.
Some Theological Foundation for all of this
The philosophy of ministry is simple: we will make disciples (Matt 28:18-20) as we create places for people to Belong to a community, Follow the way and teaching of Jesus, and Serve one another in self-giving love.
Tribes might just be the best way to accomplish this vision of Godly community...
Having a significant conversation with a teenager is the thing that drives most of us in Youth Ministry. Except, having a conversation with a teenager is also the most terrifying thing about volunteering and yes, working in Youth Ministry.
Here is a 4 step process to help you have significant conversations with teenagers:
Follow the P.A.T.H.
As we shifted a 'classic youth ministry' program model towards missional youth communities called "Tribes" we saw the potential for this to not only change local-church Youth Ministries, but the local-churches as a whole.
This is our story of taking a risk and trying something new in Youth Ministry.
We talk often about helping teens 'break out of their comfort zone', but we should be helping them build more comfort zones.
When I decided to follow Jesus at 16 my friends gave me two books, a Bible, and “Breaking out of your Comfort Zones”. This is one of the most used clichés in the Youth Worker repertoire. I know, I used it for a decade.
The thing is, this whole idea of teenagers ever being in a ‘comfort zone’ is a fallacy to begin with.
Imagine putting 100 teenagers into a room to teach them to dance. We automatically assume they are all at the same place of understanding and curiosity, so we give them one path to move along to learn, then measuring them according to their progress.
Sounds nuts right?
We can't expect the programs that have captured the attention of one generation to continue to work for the next.
This past Saturday the second BREAKTHROUGH JR.HIGH GIRLS' CONFERENCE took place at Springvale Church in Stouffville, Ontario. And, well, it is simply one of the most incredible events around. I was invited to be a workshop speaker for the event, but spent most of my day walking around with this overwhelming sense of joy and wonder.
(Jr.High) Youth Worker - don't underestimate the impact you have, and don't you dare underestimate the impact each young teen you spend time with can have on this world! Every single moment makes a difference.
Here's a few encouraging thoughts for your day to keep you going in this underestimated ministry.
Maybe today you're wondering why you are doing this? Why do you stay in Youth Ministry? I've been there, you come off a great weekend, or a tough night, and the same feelings surface of doubt that you're actually making a difference.
Well, last July I resigned from my role as Youth Ministry Director (which is fancy for 'Pastor'), but you're bored of hearing about that part of the journey.
Today, I wanted to tell you that I miss it.
We used to do a lot of things that may not work, or may just seem strange in other contexts...but as far as I can remember, there was (almost) always a reason.
As long as you know why, you can do whatever you want. Here's three things we continued to do because we confidently knew WHY we were doing them: JR.High Talent Show, Volunteers Leading Discussions, and Getting Messy!