Youth Unlimited, the Grand Rapids-based parachurch organization that includes GEMS, Cadets and young people, has a serious marketing problem right across Canada.
If you Google Youth Unlimited, you immediately notice two quite separate organizations: the American body connected to the...
I wonder how many youth leaders are in accountability groups. I would suggest that if you are a youth leader and you are not in an accountability group, you consider doing so. It’s a very personal decision. I can only tell you that I have been blessed and improved by my group.
This is a topic that’s discussed in consistories/councils, by congregations, Synods, and pretty much anywhere there are church-going folks or church leaders hanging out. I don’t expect to solve the challenge in a short blog, but I think youth leaders might have a different perspective than many in the church.
Yeah, I know that we, as youth leaders, parents, students, Christ-followers, strive to seek God’s face constantly. That’s good. Keep that up. I just figured that in this first week of a new year, it might be good to push all of the “stuff” out of your head and just simply listen to God.
For some of us who are, well, not so young, there was no texting 10 years ago. For younger leaders, texting has been a part of your lives for much of the past few years. In either case, I wonder if you are using text messages to communicate with your youth group and if not, why not?
I’ve got a friend who feels a lot of pressure to increase participants in youth group and roll out consistently high numbers of profession of faiths among their church young people. Really? So this is how we measure performance for a youth leader?
Christmas is a couple of weeks away. The focus in most of our homes is on gifts. Youth group students have created long lists of all the items they “need.” My question is this, how do we cover this topic in our youth groups in such a way that we impact thought without instilling guilt?
Most years, the most successful youth group event was the night when we visited shut-ins in our congregation. It might not have been the most popular youth event going in to the activity, but it was always the best as the night ended. If you haven’t done this, you gotta give it a try.
I’m getting really old. I think it’s kind of funny to see me morph into my parents. But what’s not funny is the content I see and hear on the phones, iPods, iPads, and other communication tools that students are using. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with what I believe is
This is a question for which there are an endless number of opinions and answers. There isn’t even agreement on how involved the CRC is at this point. Some believe there is sufficient leadership and resourcing for congregations around youth ministry. Others believe it should be...
Everyone wants the latest and greatest resources for their youth group. In a changing world, it seems our resources need to do the same. There is a cost to shifting resources and seeking out the latest and coolest study guide. Is there a Reformed perspective? Does it matter? Yeah, it should matter.
We have an abuse prevention policy at our church, but are realizing that we probably need to add something regarding how we, as a church and specifically youth leaders, use social media in our interactions with our youth. Does anyone out there have a policy regarding this that you can send us...
Here’s a challenge for you and your youth group. See if you can get members of your youth group to commit to reading through the Bible in a year. I’ve done this the last two years and I wish I had started it when I was young. If you aren’t sure you want to challenge your youth group with this yet, take on the challenge yourself.
Have you ever been in the middle of a crowd where you didn’t know anyone else? It’s actually pretty easy to feel alone in the middle of a crowd. It’s also a common occurrence in our schools and youth groups and it breaks my heart.
It’s Ministry Appreciation Month and showing love to your youth leader is a great place to start. Sure, you could send a card, or offer a sincere “thank you” next time you see them. But what if you showed your appreciation through your actions? Yeah, there definitely are ways to show your appreciation.
I was talking with a friend of mine who was a youth leader for many years and is now a senior pastor of a large church. We laughed as we remembered the crazy stuff that we experienced as youth leaders. We both expressed our thankfulness for the blessings we experienced AND we both agreed it was the most exhausting time of our life. How many really gifted youth leaders have resigned because they didn’t have the time or energy to continue at the pace it takes to do good youth ministry? Then the next question becomes, how do we support those youth leaders so that they can continue to do the ministry for which they are so gifted?
Last week, we had a guest blogger for the Youth Network who did a wonderful job reminding us of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways we label young people and keep them at arm’s length in our congregations. So, if we are going to own this challenge we have with making young people feel welcome, what are we going to do about it?
In the mind of Christ, young people are not animals, aliens or closed spaces. Those things scare us. When we are scared of them, we can’t love them. Instead, we call or yell at them from a distance to come to Jesus, come to faith and come to church, but Jesus said, “Go. . .into all the earth,” not get them to come...
My oldest son has a part-time job and I’ve realized that our church doesn’t have anything set up to receive his tithing. Sure, he can drop cash in the offering, but there’s isn’t any communication, offering envelopes, or focus on his tithing. How cool would it be to have a focus in our youth ministry around tithing?
We go through detailed and strategic interviewing, testing and discernment to ensure that those who are interested in planting churches have the gifts to do so. I’ve learned through experience that in our narrow focus on finding the right individuals to plant churches, we never look beyond that to youth pastors for the plants. I’m thinking that’s not such a good idea.
So could a youth group actively participate in planting a church? Yes! Of course! Does it happen very often? Not that I’m aware of. But I can't think of any reasons why that's the case. What do you think about a youth group helping to plant a church?
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently completed a survey of evangelical protestant leaders and the results show a deep concern around the negative impact of secularism on the future of evangelical Christianity. Do you think your youth group shares that concern? It would make a great discussion topic.
If you’ve been a youth leader for a while, you’ve had to work through the pain of tragedy and death with your youth group members. Whether it’s a member of your group, a family member or a friend from school, tragic accidents and death certainly creep into our lives. Youth groups are a healthy place to help students deal with their emotions ...
Several years ago, a few teens from the church youth group were caught drinking alcohol in a motel room on a school day. Angry parents demanded to know, “What are you teaching our students in youth group? What goes on there?” It was shocking that parents were so quick to lay blame on the youth pastor and his volunteers. Didn’t the parents have any responsibility? They’d been raising their children for years. How could the youth leaders be blamed when they only spent a few hours with these teens each week?
In the business world, a significant number of executives rely on coaches or mentors to support their ongoing personal and professional growth. More and more pastors and non-profit leaders are turning to coaches/mentors as well. Hey, if it works for everyone else, it will probably work for youth leaders too!