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 been involved in youth ministry since, well, since I was in middle school. Like most CRC/RCA kids, I was actively involved in middle and high school youth groups. When I got to college (Calvin), I was involved in various ministries around campus.
After I married my wife, Amy, we became volunteer youth leaders at our church. Amy and I were youth leaders for more than 15 years. During that time, we also volunteered with Youth Unlimited and helped plan and run several conventions. I was on the Youth Unlimited board for many years and just recently left the board.
I’m the Director of Communication for the Reformed Church in America. Yeah, I’m RCA. But if it makes anyone feel better, I’ve spend my life worshiping in both CRC and RCA churches. My folks loved to start new churches and eagerly joined both CRC and RCA plants, so I learned to enjoy the reformed theology of both denominations.
I travel quite a bit in my job, so I love to spend time with my wife and two kids when I have free time. My boys play baseball, so I spend plenty of time at their games as well.
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 just read an interesting blog called “Why Theology and Youth Ministry Seldom Mix," regarding the challenge of incorporating theology into youth groups. I wonder if others see this as a challenge or concern.
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.
Silos go up when individual areas get caught up in their own goals and fail to work cross-functionally with others within the organization. It’s the responsibility of a youth leader to break down silos in a church.
You may not have weekly meetings during the summer, but hopefully you are finding opportunities to keep the youth group community together. Let's start planning now!
If your church is running VBS later this summer, consider getting your entire youth group actively involved in the program. My experience is that this will bring a wonderful energy to the VBS, and it will have a long-lasting impact.
Thanks for your input. I certainly agree that fund raising often works best when various options are tried and each church then identifies what works best for their group and congregation. I am...posted on: A "Reformed" Fund Raising Idea
I love this idea John. The question you raise at the end of your post should drive our process far more than the secular school year.
(And thanks for the well-written, graceful response on...posted on: Late Winter Blues
Wow, you completely misread my blog. The critical point is that the individuals who are most open to the Gospel and the population that most urgently needs to hear it are between the ages of 4-18...
Thanks. I have a church planter friend who has brought fasting into his congregation and they have been blessed in so many ways. I've never led a fasting exercise, but I've participated in some...posted on: New Year's Resolution - Seek God's Face
Great response Jason. I like it!posted on: Measuring Youth Leader Success
Thanks Rebecca. I think you are right on point!posted on: Measuring Youth Leader Success
Great advice Albert. Thanks for sending along these suggestions. I think you are right on point.posted on: R U Txtng w/ Ur Yth Grp?
Great post Albert! I absolutely love your suggestion that youth development be part of the church's mission statement. I wonder how many churches have done that? Thanks for sharing.posted on: This Youth Ministry Stuff Takes Energy!
What a cool story Rick. Thanks for sharing it.
I think the challenge is always going to be in finding the funding for a youth leader at a church plant and then finding a youth leader who...
Thanks John. We too believe the Holy Spirit has led us to this relationship with a youth leader and the community. I can't wait to watch the Spirit continue to work in this relationship.