We talk about losing youth in our congregations. We talk about having less and less people wanting to be part of council. I wonder - why don't we start talking about youth on council. How young is too young?
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.
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.
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.
I'm currently in the process of becoming the new youth ministry guide for the youth ministry network. I'm very excited about this opportunity, but welcome involvement by others, and it's my belief involvement stems from investment, and what better way to invest than through suggestions!
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?
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’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.
During the month of July, Calvin Seminary hosted a program called “Facing Your Future” (FYF). The program brought in thirty grade 11 and 12 students who are actively involved in their church. This year I was one of the lucky students selected for Facing Your Future.
I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Her favorite question is “why?” When she first started doing this, it was endearing; however, at this point, I’ll admit, it can be more than a little annoying. And yet on another level, Sophie’s constant questioning is an important reminder about the necessity of repeatedly asking “why”.
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...
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?
I did a blog with an idea to team with Faith Alive to sell books as a fundraiser for youth groups. It did spark some good discussion about fundraising and maybe even about a number of strategic goals around fundraising.
Maybe the question should be “Is it important to get youth interested in our denominations?” I believe it is, indeed, important and the blessing and missional impact of denominations like the CRCNA should be shared with youth. Maybe you disagree.
Sometimes I think that while everyone in my church thinks it’s important to care for the poor, when we start to actively participate in projects around social justice, there’s an uneasiness that gets in the way of support for our efforts.