Is it possible to have a growing, healthy, successful youth group in a congregation that has traditional worship? Does the worship style of the congregation matter? Does the worship style of the congregation enhance or inhibit a youth leader’s ability to do youth ministry?
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I’ve thought about writing this for a while, but it’s not particularly fun to write about some of my lowest moments as a youth leader. There have been times when youth have given up on our church and our youth group, and I’ve chosen, sometimes consciously and often subconsciously, to give up on them...
It was early 2011 when I was approached with the offer to be a guide for the Youth Network. I love youth ministry and I love communication tools like social media, so I jumped at the opportunity. As I wrap up my time as guide...
I’ve only been in this industry for a mere three years. But those of us who work here can quickly understand how much will change in three years. In fact, I often share with people that the turn over of my high school program is four years: a statistic not often considered by those who aren’t encompassed in the work.
There is pressure to keep students “engaged” long enough to teach them something, or equip them with some sort of practical application of faith for their livelihood. However, I’ve found that the material of Scripture isn’t something to be reduced, but is actually something which compliments an ever changing culture of entertainment.
I’m convinced that burnout leads to a re-centering of the self. When we approach the cliff of wit's end, the very questions which root and define our ministry boil up: What am I doing this for? Why am I doing this? or most importantly — Who am I doing this for?
The problem of bullying is not a topic that has surfaced over the past 3–5 years. But with the inclusion of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Four Square, the subject matter has taken an entirely new angle, one that has many leaders, counselors, and parents scratching their heads, wondering where to even begin.
No class, no advice, and no mentor could have prepared us for what lay around the corner. There’s comes a point in all our lives where we become so comfortable with what is, that we can’t imagine alternatives from reality. And when that alternative reality strikes, it’s with a force of venom that rivals the strength of a Cobra.
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I couldn't believe the island I had found myself on, and the lack of awareness for where I was spiritually. The well was dry, and the rains had come. Yet, someone had forgotten to remove the roof which was redirecting all the water. I had failed to communicate.
One of the things I fear this generation is leaving behind (and my generation alike) is the idea of traditions. If I'm starkly honest about myself, I'm personally not the biggest fan of traditions. But, I think I'm more frightened by the word than by the practice in an of itself.
In a time when our society is devastated by the actions of a single broken human being, it’s good for all areas of a system to bind together and aim for reconciliation and consonance for the families of the victims of Newtown, Connecticut.
In practice, I and other youth leaders that I work with, often do all the leading ourselves. It is less complicated, isn’t as messy, and takes less time. In the rush of our week, with work, family and other obligations, who has time to involve the youth in actually leading youth group on a Wednesday night. It is just easier to do it yourself.
I had a conversation with someone from our congregation which made me wonder how much I think I do as a youth pastor, and how little I tend to do voluntarily. That’s the paradox we find ourselves in as a youth pastor. Is all our work done for the right reasons?
One of our pastoral roles is to help bring our students into greater maturity both in their schools/homes, and in their lives. And with Facebook developing unwarranted drama among our students, we must stop and ask, “Are we guiding students through the land mines of Facebook feed?”
It is my belief that the church finds itself at a very interesting and pivotal moment in history. Moral questions have taken the most fascinating turn because secular culture is pointing the Church back to her own Gospel message: grace; forgiveness; inclusion; and most of all a love for God and each other.
One of my most beloved passages comes from Ephesians 4 where Paul is instructing this group of Christians (who of course know their religion very well) of they way they ought to be acting. And in the middle of condemning them, he cautions them to watch their tongue, among a plethora of other cautions.
One of the things I thought when God first charged me with this challenge was that somehow it was going to be so easy. It was as if I was going to walk into my Youth Support Team meeting and tell them how I thought things were sucking, and we were all going to hold hands, pray, smile, cry, and walk out changed and ready for a fresh start.
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?
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?” It was shocking that parents were so quick to lay blame on the youth pastor and his volunteers.