Youth Ministry Spotlight

waiting Some of us are better at embracing technology to connect with youth than others. Where do you start if you haven’t already? Are you utilizing social media to its fullest to connect with current or potential youth? Virtual community works well when used to supplement regular connections with youth and to reach out to those curious about connecting to the church.

waiting The period of adolescence has sometimes been described as a storm. The perfect conditions somehow align to create explosive episodes that can be triggered by the smallest action or slightest word. Where does all this rage come from? The stress of so much change and struggle can sometimes be directed at those they feel the closest to or people who are more vulnerable then themselves. The storm can happen at anytime or in any place. What do we do when we encounter the anger and frustration of a youth? How do we handle the storm? Find opportunities to unpack the issue and open up what is triggering the passionate reaction.

waiting Investing in intentional, unconditional relationships with youth, walking with them towards a fearless faith in Christ Jesus. This is the statement that will guide our year of discernment. We believe that just as Christ has been central to all we have done in the past, Christ will continue to accompany us and the Holy Spirit guide us and give us wisdom.

waiting Like any of us, youth also need to experience worshipping God that goes beyond Sunday morning. How are we inviting youth to take time to worship God in all parts of their lives? Discerning together with youth what is important for our worship and critically thinking through why we do what we do, will help everyone involved to understand what connects us to God in ways that feed our souls.

waiting Some activities we do with youth take large amounts of our time and energy. We wonder if such activities are worth all the time and effort it takes to make them happen. Retreats are a great way to draw in youth who are new to the group or feeling on the edge of the group.

waiting Working with youth, children and families takes an energy that can be both empowering and exhausting. Youth ministry as a spiritual discipline captures the all-encompassing authenticity that working with youth requires. To be oneself, to share selflessly, to share deeply from one’s own faith and relationship with God, and to be available for youth and families in crisis, costs us part of ourselves.

waiting We've all been there when a parent is delayed picking up their youth or asks us to drop a youth off on our way home. No one hesitated before but we do now. We do a mental check so as not to put the youth in a vulnerable position or ourselves. To appease safe church policies we may say “no” more often or spend more energy making sure a youth is not alone with a adult outside of a public space.

prayer Many of the youth we connect with are silently struggling with challenges that they feel helpless to face. How do we as churches support and walk alongside youth who may not yet understand the nature of the struggles they are experiencing? What kind of image of God are we presenting? Does it stand in the way of facing challenges and getting the support that is needed? Creating safe spaces to talk about the pressures of being a young person in our world can be a gift of the church.

prayer As we work with and support youth it is helpful to be sensitive to the adolescent developmental tasks of being, belonging, behaving and believing. How do you decide when a youth is testing the water or is exhibiting behaviour that should be flagged as being at risk or in need of more support? How do you support youth while still moving the rest of the youth group along in their development? When do you go for help and where?

prayer We are meant to guide youth along the way and create experiences that help youth to encounter God. When our ministry with youth is in healthy space, we are mentors and models of what it is to follow Jesus in all our successes and setbacks, challenges and special God moments. In our calling to be mentors and models we need to be paying attention to our own relationship with God. How can we invite youth to go where we have not been?


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