The boys put together what may be our best Life Group promotion video ever. So fun … Life Groups win.
The boys put together what may be our best Life Group promotion video ever. So fun … Life Groups win.
Who comes first, the youth minister or the young people?
Many churches would respond with the first option… The youth minister.
As a result, they hire a youth minister (usually part time), and expectantly hope him/her to bring about revival. To save the church. To fill the pews with families and young people.
I don’t think this should be the case. A youth minister is not a church revivalist.
Sure, any youth minister will use the gifts and skills God has given them to reach out, nurture and disciple young people in the gospel. But if a church is going to grow, it shouldn’t come out of the youth minister’s office alone. Instead it should come from the faithful people within the church loving their community and inviting them to partake in the life giving message of Christ. The ministry of reaching people never ceases to be the calling of the entire congregation. Once a church is ready to accept and include teens and young families, then they can look to bring in someone to assist their ministry desire.
The youth minister should never be the hired gun that saves a church. Unfortunately, too many job descriptions thrust before youth ministers, desire just that. If a church is not reaching out to families and young people, but remaining in their holy huddles, then there may be a reason the church is on life support… But what if your church already looks at you like a revivalist?
1 – Get plugged into a support network. Lean on others who are familiar with the hard road of energising people to do what God has invited them to be a part of and know the weathering it can produce.
2 – Keep an eye out for those who are sharing the gospel and serving the church. Pray that their example rubs off on the rest of the church.
3 – Most importantly, don’t forget why you ARE called to minister at that place. Keep being faithful to growing young people on the life changing transforming of Jesus.
Graham Baldock is a Youth Pastor from Sydney, Australia and has a youth ministry blog worth checking out at grahambaldock.blogspot.com
It’s still the second biggest taboo in Youth Ministry after salary, but ministry budgets are really important to talk about even though discussing them make people squirm. I wrote a few months back about a better way of talking about budgets with other pastors by comparing budget on a per student basis. But a pattern that I have noticed in my ministry, and I have seen in others as well, is that an increase in budget can result in a decrease in diligence of good stewardship.
To give a little context to this, 2 years ago our youth ministry had a budget of 8% of what it was in 2001. There were similar amounts of students and leaders and 75% less paid staff. In the time between now and then was a period where the group shrunk and the budget did accordingly. I will never complain about the finite budget had because it taught me a few things:
Tight budgets breed creativity: There is a great book called $5 Youth Ministry and for many youth pastors that is the name of the game. Getting creative, shopping on craigslist, building a home made catapult pumpkin launcher; this is the stuff that the memories are made of. Not having a lot of money to spend creates environment where collaboration and brainstorming happen, where students and leaders can use their gifts in ways that buying a solution might now allow.
Tight budgets promote stewardship: I can remember vividly, 3 years in a row, where I was a volunteer in my early 20′s and not paying for a youth trip because I knew that if I dragged my feet long enough that the Church would just pay for it or forget about it. Not the lesson we want to teaching leaders and students. Following up with all students and leaders to make sure they pay is a great teachable moment around stewardship, commitment and integrity. Lets face it, it is also a great teachable moment for ourselves to learn to be thorough in planning and executing events.
Big budgets can breed wastefulness: As we have transitioned from a season of very tight budgeting to one where there has been an increase, I have noticed a decrease in my urgency to return things that I didn’t need, to buy more, or to buy frivolous things. It’s easy when there is a little more to spend, coupled with the attitude that I have to spend all of my budget if I want to get it back, that can cause purchases and events based solely on the reasoning of “why not?”.
I often need to remind myself that I am spending our congregant’s tithes that they have entrusted to me to spend for the furthering of the Kingdom. Having a small youth budget is not a death sentence, in fact it’s really a formative experience to work within one. Learning to use your budget wisely will allow for your effectiveness to grow proportionately with your budget.
Geoff Stewart is the Pastor of Jr & Sr High School for Journey Student Ministries at Peace Portal Alliance Church and regularly contributes GUEST POSTS to MTDB. Be sure to check out his Twitter stream for awesome ministry goodness. Want to get in on the fun and write up a guest post yourself? See how right here.
Here’s a quick look at the sermons and series we’re taking on for the rest of the year in our high school ministry here at Saddleback. Really excited about this fall!
LAUNCH wk 3
No HSM [9/11 services in big church]
Secrets (week 1 of 2)
Secrets (week 2 of 2)
Facebook Official: Relationships, Friendships, Love and Status Updates (week 1 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 2 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 3 of 4)
Facebook Official (week 4 of 4)
Do Something: Don’t Just Listen … Do (week 1 of 3)
Do Something (week 2 of 3)
Do Something (week 3 of 3)
1-off for Thanksgiving
STORIES: 1-off testimony weekend
Christmas (week 1 of 2)
Christmas (week 2 of 2)
No HSM [Christmas]
No HSM [New Year]
Last week we talked about debriefing your summer calendar, and we got a great response from it (largely asking the question, “how?”) and thought it might be good to devote a whole article on the topic. So today we’re going to list 20 questions to help you begin to evaluate your summer youth ministry calendar:
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.
Weekend Teaching Series: LAUNCH (week 2 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Accountability will make you uncomfortable but is critically important in the life of a believer … and join a Life Group this school year in HSM!
Understandable Message: This weekend Jessica Torres taught the second weekend in our LAUNCH back to school series. Every year about this time we want to intentionally move students toward life groups, so we intentionally plan a weekend to encourage students to go beyond the weekend service and jump into a group. Jessica taught specifically about the accountability aspect of groups and had great stories about the influence of both peers and adults in her formative years. She did a great job teaching these principles from Scripture.
Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we’re wrapping up summer and headed into Labor Day holiday and back to school next week. The atmosphere was great – we had a new student on lights who did an incredible job with the energy before the service and the team made a couple of great videos to point students toward Life Groups and to become a part of HSM. Lots of student greeters, too!
Music Playlist: Go, You’ll Come, Majesty, Let My Words Be Few
Favorite Moment: One of our students, Connor Kim, shared his testimony about the impact accountability and his Life Group have made on his high school years. He’s such a stud, it was awesome for students to see a real-life example of what Jessica was teaching from the stage. Between her heart and his experience, I know tons of students will take this next step in our discipleship process. Strong.
Up next: LAUNCH (series finale, week 3 of 3)
It’s back to school season – and for us that means we pour a ton of effort into our fall kickoff weekend, our first big series and the launch of small groups. Thought I might make some recommendations for some great youth ministry resources that might help you as you head into the start of another year.
Must have: Small Groups from Start to Finish by Doug Fields & Matt McGill
Solid: Small Group Strategies by Laurie Povich
Worth the price: LIVE curriculum
For your volunteers
Looks great, never read it: How to Volunteer Like a Pro by Jim Hancock
Shameless plug: 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders by me! Told you it was shameless
Worth the price: TOOLS: Team from Simply Youth Ministry
For your own personal growth
Must have: What Matters Most by Doug Fields
Solid: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
Worth the price: the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville, KY March 2012
Read most of Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them by Ed Stetzer a while back and thought it had some good insights into the spiritual mind of the next generation of students/young adults. It felt like another in the series of books that is hoping to reveal, motivate and train the current church how to reach the next group coming through right now that is spiritually lost. It is based on significant data and extensive research at Lifeway – clearly Ed’s thing if you read his books or blog – so if you read UnChristian, The Slow Fade, Essential Church? you’ll know the drill. Honestly the book felt familiar but definitely worth reading at least for sure the chapter summaries and the conclusions at the end.
1. Creating Deeper Community. Churches that are effective connect young adults into a healthy small group system.
2. Making a Difference through Service. Churches that are transforming young adults value leading people to serve through volunteerism. They want to be a part of something bigger.
3. Experiencing Worship. Churches that are engaging young adults are providing worship environments that reflect their culture while revering and revealing God. They want a vertical experience with God.
4. Conversing the Content. Churches that are lead by authentic communicators are drawing young adults into the message.
5. Leveraging Technology. Churches that are reaching young adults are willing to communicate in a language of technology familiar to young adults.
6. Building Cross-Generational Relationships. Churches that are linking young adults with older, mature adults are challenging young adults to move on to maturity through friendship, wisdom, and support.
7. Moving towards Authenticity. Young adults are looking for and connecting to churches where they see leaders that are authentic, transparent, and on a learning journey.
8. Leading by Transparency. Churches with incarnational leaders, those who express a personal sense of humanity and vulnerability, are influencing young adults.
9. Leading by Team. They see ministry not as a solo enterprise but a team sport.