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?
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.
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.
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.
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?