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!