Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Thoughts on Youth Ministry


I was able to meet with our adult team yesterday.  I love the adults that work with our teenagers and enjoy pouring in to them just as much as I do pouring in to teenagers.  Every time I meet with our adults, I always try to keep the vision of youth ministry in front of them and explain the "why" behind what we do.  Here's just a bit of what I shared with them yesterday.

Our Role as Leaders = INFLUENCE

… There aren’t many who view working with teenagers as an amazing opportunity.
… Most look at it as a challenge or something that simply needs to be done.
… I look at it as an amazing opportunity for INFLUENCE.  We all have an incredible opportunity to be a Godly influence on the lives of teenagers. 
… Think of an adult that has impacted your life.  What did they do that helped make a difference?  I shared a story of an adult at a youth conference I attended in 1986.  I was a freshman in high school.  This adult was my counselor for the week.  Two weeks after the conference, he wrote me a letter with some powerful words in it on how he believed God wanted to use me.  I still have that letter.

Our Environment at Axis = PICTURE OF JESUS

… We communicate more without words than we do with our words
… What we do or don’t do will communicate more to our teenagers than what we say
... Rick Warren said that people will remember how we made them feel far longer than what we said.  
… One of our key roles is to help create an environment that has “IT” … that factor that you can’t explain, but you know it when you see it.
… What would a visitor think when they first came in the doors?  Would they "feel" welcomed?  Would someone greet them?  Would someone be willing to show them around and introduce them to others?  Would they feel like we were expecting them and are THRILLED they are with us?
... Our prayer every time we meet ... let kids feel loved, welcome, and accepted.  Help them get a clear picture of Jesus and walk away wanting to know Him more.


Chat Groups = TIME TO CONNECT AND POUR IN TO KIDS

… The focus is not just discussion, but relationship building.  It's OK not to get through all of the discussion questions.  
… The focus can’t just be on Wednesday night, but during the week as well.  Text them.  Call them.  Write them a letter.  Build trust.  The more trust that is developed, the more discussion that will happen.
… Someone is wanting you to invest in them


Summer Time = SERVING AND RELATIONSHIPS

…Summer looks different in youth ministry.  It provides and opportunity to really focus on key areas.  Our key areas will be serving and relationships.
... We have several events planned that will help kids connect with the adults of our church.  We have several events planned that will help them connect with each other.  In each of these events, the more consistently we show up, the better the opportunity for influence.
…We have several opportunities planned to serve as well.  The more kids serve, the more like Jesus they can become because Jesus took on the "very nature of a servant." Philippians 2:7

I am so thankful to have a team of adults that gets all of this and loves pouring their lives in to teenagers.  I love our adult team and so thankful for each one of them and what they bring to our youth ministry!

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