What I love about youth ministry is how you can get away with some things that you could never do in adult worship. When you fail or mess up teens will be a little more forgiving especially if they see that you are trying. While youth ministry has it’s uniqueness it has it’s dangers if it is totally isolated from the movement of the adult congregation. If not connected to the flow and movement of adult ministry and worship it can be an obstacle to the entire church. One of our responsibilities as youth ministers is to make sure that we are IN UNISON WITH “BIG CHURCH”.
The reason you need to build synergy between teens and adults is because it:
- Encourages Conversation Between Parent’s and Kids
- Enables Outside The Box Thinking
- Equips a Vibrant Generation to Take Ownership
When the church is in unison it becomes a movement and it’s relevancy increases. Unfortunately, there are road blocks that stand in the way that will cause friction. To remove that friction and synergy between youth and adults you need to:
Make Your Relationship With Leadership A Priority: Not always the easiest thing to do; however, it has the biggest payoff. When you can communicate to the pastor your needs and your situation he can serve as an advocate on your behalf. If this is something that’s impossible you might need to reconsider where you are working. (Click here to learn more on leading up)
Preach On Similar Topics: If you can be ONE CHURCH ONE MESSAGE then you give families a common ground for their conversations. While it’s not always appropriate to talk about the exact same topics as the adults you can pull from similar themes and readings. If your church teaches in message series consider following along. Fuel the conversation at home.
Encourage Teens To Serve Alongside Adults: Building intergenerational relationships are essential in building your capacity as a leader. When you empower teens to serve alongside of adults you give them role models in faith. It gives the teens an opportunity to be influenced and encouraged by an adult who sees the importance of serving the Lord.
While there is power and benefit to creating unique opportunities for teenagers, it’s important not to lose sight of how they are connected to the local church. Work on the relationships you have with coworkers, invest yourself in what the adult ministry is doing and strive to be one church of many generations.
How do you work to be in unison with “Big Church”?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)