The SnapShot Web Team wants to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you be filled with great hope, joy and love this Christmas season.
Here’s SnapShot Web’s Christmas gift to you:
Setup a new SnapShot Website with any of the three SnapShot Website Plans between now and December 31st and you’ll get $150 worth of free resources from Simply Youth Ministry. Check out the available ministry resources.
Merry Christmas and Thanks for Loving Students!
This week during HSM’s end of year meeting I encouraged my team to be better at conflict. Being the people-pleasing giant that I am … it doesn’t come naturally to me either. I’m OK with letting some things go or not saying the last 10% in an effort to make peace and keep friendships. The challenge is to rethink how avoiding conflict doesn’t help – in fact actually it hurts relationships. Here’s why a little dose of conflict might be good in our youth ministry culture:
Conflict allows people to grow
Observations and constructive criticism left unsaid is a missed opportunity for someone to grow. When you avoid conflict you marginalize someone’s growth and cap their leadership. Say the tough things so they keep getting better and as a team you become more effective. Not saying it is selfish, especially if it is done to preserve your position or status.
Conflict kills the undercurrent of negativity
The worst part about avoiding the tough conversations is that you’re still going to have the easy conversations with someone else about that person. Too much avoiding people and addressing problems leads to isolation, dysfunction and eventually loss. Keep the team happy in the long run by having a few painful days among the way. The long view of health will push you to push for it on a daily basis.
Conflict follows Jesus example
Jesus wasn’t afraid of conflict. Neither was Paul, Peter and other leaders of the early church. Conflict makes sure we stay on task, onboard with the vision and forces us to truly love and care for each other and the church.
It is never easy … when it is you’re probably broken. But it is a necessary part of leadership.
Every week we have the opportunity to impact the lives of the teenagers that step through our doors. Let’s make the most of it. Their view of God is often shaped by what we say, how we respond, and what we do. Are they getting a clear picture of the God we are in love with? A few things that have been floating through my head lately:
- How well we listen to and engage our kids will have a great impact than how well we speak or talk.
- Somewhere in your youth ministry is a teenager who need to have a conversation with a caring adult. Will you be that adult?
- Sometimes you may only get 30 seconds with a teenager. If so, let it be 30 seconds where they felt absolutly cherished and treasured.
- You have one shot to be the youth pastor God has created you to be. One shot. Don’t get distracted by your insecurities or by the numbers or by what the other person is doing down the street. Focus on what God wants to do in YOUR ministry. Follow His lead.
- Don’t over entertain but under challenge.
- Be willing to call greatness out of your kids.
- Don’t give out of an empty tank. Nurture your relationship with God. Nobody should care more about your own spiritual growth than you do.
- If yo’ure frustrated because your kids aren’t doing something … lead them to do it. It’s not that “My kids won’t do ______________.” Rather it’s “I haven’t led my kids to do _____________.”
- Be positive. Start talking to yourself rather than listening to yourself.
- Let your kids know that you are proud of them. Teenagers don’t hear that enough.
- Your story may be exactly what they need to hear.
Every week we have the opportunity to impact the lives of teenagers. What an awesome priviledge. Let’s make the most of it.
Job Position: Youth Ministry Cheerleader
Job Description: Encourage, build-up, affirm, applaud, bouy, comfort, strengthen, console, revitalize, energize, refresh, inspire and praise youth workers in your church.
Job Requirements: A heart and passion to encourage those who are working with the youth of the church. Spiritual gift of encouragement helpful but not required.
What would happen if this job description appeared in your church bulletin one week or in your local newspaper? What if such a position existed? What if there was someone whose only job was to affirm and build up youth workers?
Youth ministry is exhilarating, fun and unbelievable. It’s easy to get discouraged though since growth is often slower than you would like and you’re often in a role of planting or watering seeds without always getting to see them bear fruit. I know that for me, it’s often easy to lose sight of the forest while I’m focusing on the tree (planning a night, getting permission slips, cleaning up the broken lamp) that’s right in front of me.
I find myself wondering what would happen to my energy, passion and excitement if I had someone who was consistently reminding me what the forest looked like. This person would have no responsibilities to challenge, push, stretch, correct or mold. There are enough people that do that, are great at it and their presence is very much needed. I’m talking about someone who only encourages. How much different would your leadership team look like if there was someone who did nothing but affirm them? How much more effective would your ministry be if that person focused on energizing the leaders? Imagine the trickle down effect on your students if there was someone whose only job was to refresh leaders!
I recognize that encouraging leaders on my team starts with me and I like to think that I’ve gotten better at it over the years. Our team has put a special emphasis on spiritual gifts this year and using the gifts God has given you to serve. Encouragement is honestly one of the those gifts that I wish I had but struggle with sometimes. I’m a checklist driven, task master most of the time. I’m stunned by the possibilities of what my ministry would look like if I had someone who was skilled at encouragement and was passionate about using that gift with my leader team.
Buz is a special education teacher who passionately loves his ladies (wife and 2 daughters). They live in Spokane, Washington and you can check out his blog right here. His guest post was exactly what I’ve been feeling all week. Thanks, Buz!
Posted by Kurt Johnston
One of the things I enjoy most about serving at Saddleback Church is the visionary leadership of my Pastor. Rick has deemed the years between 2011-2020 “The Decade of Destiny” for our church and has some faith-stretching ambitions for the Kingdom.
One of the biggest is his goal of planting 100 churches per year for the next 10 years (yes, you read that correctly!). To this end, we are launching The Saddleback School of Church Leadership, a one-year residency program designed to train and place people who feel called to church planting.
You can get a little more information and help them out by taking this survey.
Yesterday, I got to join the Simply podcast team for their weekly session. (Do you watch it normally? Lots of great talk on youth ministry stuff plus it’s funny!)
Anyway, we ended on a question about what’s appropriate for a guy leader to say to a girl about her inappropriate attire. Both, Katie and I agreed that the best way to handle the situation was to find a girl leader to handle it. McGill added that he thought a guy could handle the situation if he had built enough relationship with the girl prior to the incident.
What do you think? Should a guy leader confront a girl about your her clothes? And what should he say?
Posted by Kurt Johnston
- Today I filmed 10, 3-minute training videos for rookie volunteers. We will use them for our student ministry setting, and they will be part of an upcoming resource from Simply Youth Ministry.
- I am so glad my beloved Broncos fired Josh McDaniels! My only fear is that a new head coach won’t be a Tebow fan, and we could see him permanently shelved or shipped off.
- Starting to get excited about two upcoming conferences: Radicalis, our church conference Hosted here at Saddleback (Feb 22-25) and The Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago (Mar 4-7). These are two very different conferences but both are going to be fantastic.
- In our junior high ministry, we have a higher percentage of young leaders (in the 18-25 year-old range) than ever before…the energy they bring to our team is tremendous. I wonder if this is just a blip for us or the start of a longer trend.