Changes need plans!
Plans have to be written! It is the best way to remove them from just being ideas, swimming around in your head. Written plans bring about clarity, gives others something they too can own, and, most importantly, can be passed on.
Adapt the following sample plan for your congregation.
Recognizing that very few youth remain active in churches, we strive to be an extra ordinary congregation by making intentional efforts to help youth find meaning, belonging, purpose and hope in our church.
One of our efforts is to train adults of all ages and from all corners of our congregation to be affirming, relational advocates.
- Advocates who say, “YAH!” for our youth.
- Angels who are mindful, observant and constantly looking for the positive in youth.
- Adult gift namers who, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, name positive observations and hopes for our youth.
The results will…
…be an expanding congregational culture that values and includes our youth.
…be youth who value and remain active in church.
…expand beyond our congregation into families and throughout our community.
Affirming adults become intentional observers of the positive behaviors and gifts in youth, finding opportunities to personally name these traits and gifts.
Every adult ministry group in our congregation will receive an invitation to give one of their meeting times over during the next year to a Full Circle trainer.
Lead pastor and church leadership will highlight the importance of this invitation.
First groups will include the church staff and congregational leadership. Following groups, such as the choirs, the quilters, various Bible study groups, and all others, will be included.
TRAINING / PREPARATION
Training is based on the curriculum, “Full Circle Relationships.” (See www.peerminsitry.org “Store”) One hour group sessions will include elements of session one, that helps name the importance of faith forming relationships, and session three on effective ways to be a gift namer.
To learn this training, a person from Peer Ministry Leadership will lead us in a one day training of trainers.
SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
After Full Circle Training, follow-up will include short devotions with opportunities to share story highlights stemming from the use of skills learned in the training.
Story highlights will also be shared in newsletters, church services, and video clips on church website.
Training participants will receive a set of baseball style cards with a picture, a name, and a quote about church experience of each youth. (pending parent approvals). Cards can also be used as personal prayer reminders.
Trained groups will receive an appreciation tray of cookies [AND?] cards highlighting and reminding participants of their ministry as gift namers.
One year from the beginning of the project, after 12 to 15 adult groups have participated in the training, we will have a celebration worship, led by youth who will highlight various adult faith forming angels in their lives.