Share Your Youth Ministry Thoughts

I have had a number of conversations lately in regard to the way Youth Ministry IS and/or IS NOT working.  There are many advocates for house church, small group driven church, large programmatic churches, etc.  These philosophies and strategies possibly then dictate the way a church can provide for the youth of a church as well.

The most common church model, and the one I deal with the most with churches we relate with through Youthmark have a model that looks a little like this (this is simplified of course):

Sunday Morning:  Traditional Sunday School.  Announcements, worship and talk (in many ways, church of students).

Mid-Week: A Youth Group with games, announcements, worship and talk (Bible message/topical or study), often followed by small groups.  (Some churches do a third “program” event by providing small groups on another night of the week).

Outreach Events: Once a month or so churches host some sort of event for the churched kids to bring their unsaved friends.

Youth Pastor: Many churches have a paid Youth Pastor.  Most Youth Pastors/Directors I deal with have a volunteer team that he/she is directing.  Most Youth Pastors struggle with getting enough on their team to help “disciple” the teens (I use quotes because sometimes the YP is simply looking for help, leaders to be there, not necessarily to disciple.).

I have my own thoughts and opinions, and because this is my blog, I will share them… eventually.  But for now I am soliciting your feedback.

  • What is wrong or right about the way the traditional/most common church is attempting to do Youth Ministry?
  • If you were “in charge” what would you change?  What would you affirm about this model?
  • What were some of the most effective things about the youth ministries you have been a part of or heard of?
  • What should the purpose of Youth Ministry be?
  • Any other thoughts are helpful as well.

Some of this stuff could be sensitive materials, please be careful when using names (please don’t use any in negative examples).

This information is helpful to me as I come alongside other YP’s who are really thinking through the things that they do in ministry.  I count it a privilege that I get to network with so many and we love sharing stories, examples and opinions!

Grace,
Brian

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4 thoughts on “Share Your Youth Ministry Thoughts

  1. • What is wrong or right about the way the traditional/most common church is attempting to do Youth Ministry?
    ****I do not know that I would say right or wrong rather I would ask: Is the philosphy and practice of current church models balanced and effective? What I have found in evaluating my ministry is that we need to be balanced. I overheard a convo about my denom vs another denom and the statement was made that “Baptists are not making the grade when it somes to Social Justice and yet in the area of evangelism and talking aobut what we believe we do well.” On the heels of that the other person replied that “In order to really evangelize effectively there must be a better understanding and physical application of Social Justice” so in eddence the Baptists (me) are not really able to evangelize anyway because they/we do not have a good handle or Balance of Social Justice. I think that too often we look at our strengths an are satisfied with what we are doing. What I believe we truly need to do is be more effective in evaluating and taking convo’s like the one I overheard and using it as part of our eval to make sure we are pursuing balance n our approach.
    On the other side of that just like a human body/person churches have strengths and abilities that make that person/body more effective in a specific area and each church body should execrcise their strengths because God has gifted different people/bodies for different things and the more that we can know our strengths and weaknesses well the more effective we will be in glorifying and enjoying God which is our ultimate purpose according to some Catechisms I have read over the years.
    Hopefully this rant makes sense!!!
    • What should the purpose of Youth Ministry be?
    ******Our purpose should be to Glorify God and Enjoy him forever and live a life personally and corporately that worships Him moment by moment so people will be drawn to know what is so different about us personally and as a body!
    Thanks for letting me talk/rant!!!

  2. Wow,
    I just re-read my Rant and I am impressed by my ability to misspell words, and also my ability to run on and on and on in my sentences.
    I apologize to all.
    Dave

  3. Hi Brian,
    You know, I don’t have a lot of education in this area, but what I learned as a leader, is, if it gets the kid’s attention, and they talk about it, then it works!!
    Their hearts are what matters, not whether or not we are doing the same thing we did last year. We have had SO many youth pastors and what I observed is the EXCITEMENT and PASSION is what gets the kids to learn, and grow. No junior high student wants to be lectured to, they want to have life application, “how can this affect MY life” Most would rather not stick their neck out and look bad or odd, or just different. BUT when they are excited and the spirit is moving and they “get it” they are SO strong in their ability to serve the Lord and spread the word!
    So, all in all, if it works do it, if not CHANGE it!
    Simple but to the point!!
    Love ya
    Pam

  4. For me, the reason I worked with youth for so many years had nothing to do with working with youth really. It had to do with that is where I could “worship”, youth worship Him in awesome ways. They don’t have as much baggage between Him and them.
    Two year olds are even more pure in their worship of Him. I think that is why Jesus says, “Come, to Him like little children”.

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