Monday, 17 November 2008

Top Ten Tips for Youth Leaders

Tip 6: See the bigger picture

Fresh from putting into practice Tip 5, you’ve clarified in your head what the point of your organisation or role is in the discipleship of teenagers. So now it’s time for some joined up thinking. Open your eyes to the bigger picture; to the purpose of your youth ministry as a whole & your church.

Questions you need to consider at this stage are… “What other organisations or people within our church/community work with teenagers?” “What are they doing? What’s their purpose?” “Are we doing the same thing or offering something unique?”

Jesus bids us shine” is an annoying little song with a crappy tune that I had to endure as a child. One refrain in particular is annoying, “you in your small corner & I in mine.” This sort of nonsense is preached & practised all too often in the church.

Let’s get over this quick, before more teenagers get disgruntled with religiosity.

“What is your Youth Fellowship, CE, Bible Class, Scout Group, Guides, BB, GB, Small Groups, Youth Club doing to minister to & disciple youth?” “Are we working together in our purpose or ‘competing’ for the same teenagers so that they are out 5 nights a week?” “Do we think that ‘our’ organisation is the only important one in youth work?”

Get your whole team together & make a joined up purpose statement*** to make sense of your programmes, utilize your volunteers more effectively, ensure all leaders are singing from the same song sheet & provide direction for young people’s spiritual development.

Let’s get our little candles out of our small corners and start burning a blazing fire in the centre of the room. You never know we may actually find some young people coming to warm their hands there.

*** Here is our purpose statement by way of example, “SRPC Youth & Children’s ministry exists to connect God & young people by encouraging them to love Him and become more like Jesus. We seek to incorporate them into the church family, to equip them & help them explore their gifts.”

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