YOUTH-LEAD strategy #1 is really about changing our own view of youth. Let’s begin by viewing youth differently! Instead of assuming youth are a focus for education and motivation, or in need of some kind of club, let’s view them, from the beginning, as ministry leaders.
Let me put it this way. Let’s assume youth are vital, critical, imperative, essential, necessary to the ministry of our church! (A single adjective just didn’t give this sentence quite the punch I wanted. Let me continue!) Key, important, indispensable, required, and urgent to our church’s ministry. In short, every youth needs to hear the words, “We need you!”
In reality, youth do more ministry than I do. They are in far more relationships with far more people than I can ever be. They know many more of the great joys and great sorrows than I, or any youth minster or pastor ever will. Thus, let’s flip our assumptions and assume that our youth already are our ministry partners. My personal discovery: when I begin with this assumption, youth responded by doing ministry.
Begin assuming! The results will soon surprise you.
“If you want active youth, give them a purpose!”
IDEAS FOR “ASSUMING” YOUR YOUTH INTO MINISTRY
Choose your theme this year to reflect a commitment to people-oriented ministry: WE CARE, or GOOD SAMARITAN LEADERSHIP, or LOVING, BECAUSE CHRIST FIRST LOVED US!
- Learn and practice the skills from Peer Ministry Leadership yourself. “Live it before you teach it!”
- Teach Peer Ministry Leadership! <CLICK> to ask how to begin!
- Help your adults become models and mentors, with the skills of Peer Ministry Leadership.
- When you gather for discussions, use TALK-ABOUTS. These are twelve discussions about caring, welcoming and affirming others!
- Ask about concerns for others. I call it “Spirit Nudges,” What did you see, hear or sense that concerned you this week?
- Give youth a project to do with people each week. If you know what “WHEAT” is, challenge them to WHEAT at least six people this week and share experiences next week! (Learn about how to WHEAT from Peer Ministry Curriculum.)
- Read and start using some of the 24 Youth-Lead strategies <CLICK>
- ASK about YOUTH-LEAD coaching. “Youth are either leading or leaving.” Take seriously the development of strategies where kids are not leaving.
I hope you send this letter
to all your youth!
Dear (your youth’s name),
You’re it! I am handing off the ministry to you. I just can’t keep up.
Why do I say that? You have friends, classmates, co-workers, neighbors and even people to whom you are related. I can’t possibly care for all these people, but you can! You already know their joys and sorrows. The most important ministry is being among people, listening to them, caring for them, celebrating with them, and loving them because Christ first loves us.
I am sorry if we have made ministry look complicated. It really isn’t. So, this year, our emphasis is helping you to help others. When we gather, we’ll give you some tools to help you be really good at caring, welcoming and affirming people. We’ll talk about the issues with which people are struggling. We’ll pray for the people you are worried about. Basically, we are here for your ministry, the ministry you live every day, everywhere and in every relationship.
Below is a list of what is coming up this year! (Add your upcoming events!)
Your name here!