Friday, September 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Youth Workers.

Do your job. Afterall, yours is the most important one in the ministry world. After my own demotion (I laugh at this but went from youth minister to lead minister (Never my intention) – and now am working with adults (Just Bigger Kids). Here are some things I would tell Youth Workers.

I. Set an example. Students can tell whether or not you are faking it. Gimmicks and the latest trends don’t work. Let the students know you care about them.

II. Include the parents. Parents are not the enemy. In fact the most important influence in a student’s life – isn’t you; but their parents. Youth Ministry tends to be more about ministry to parents than it is students.

III. Support the Church Leaders. Nothing is worse than a youth worker bad mouthing their Senior Pastor. Get along with them. Read Romans 12 …leave in peace with all men – as far as possible. If you can’t work with your Senior Pastor – Resign.

IV. Don’t compare. Students don’t want their youth ministry compared to the one down the street; the region, or nationally. They want people who care about them. If one student shows up – don’t ask “Where is everyone?” (Though you might be thinking it). Instead use the time for quality ministry with this one student.

V. Don’t compete. Instead of trying to compete with the various activities of students – use that time to support them. Go to their games, marching band competitions etc. Let them know you care for them outside the walls of your facility. Use your time wisely for teachable moments.

VI. Compliment. In our world of putdowns, cyber bullying, sarcasm; try to always lift up, edify students. With self-esteem issues, peer pressure, and the like … why not change your world by letting students know they are loved and valued by you and ultimately God.

VII. Make the most of every opportunity. You have the students for only a short time … make a wise use of it. When teaching … don’t wing it. Put your best into it. Before you know it … the students will be leaving your ministry … and you might ask what did I do with my time?

VIII. Support students while they go off to college, or make sure they get plugged into a campus ministry. Call the schools and see what is available. Not everyone goes to Bible College. Get to know the various campus ministers at the schools.

IX. Have Fun, but do your job. Long gone are the messy games, foolishness of ministry. Teens want more. They can see through that. Be yourself, but take it seriously. You are working with people’s most precious treasure: Their Children.

X. Fall in love with Jesus. Take care of your own soul. No one else will do this for you. Pray like you never have before. Be excited about what God is doing in your life. Serve. Pray. Love. Let us see that you are passionate about what you are doing. Jesus needs to be the center of your life. If you do this – all of the above will come together. Keep up the good work in loving God and loving students.

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