This is a pre-trip letter that assumes all youth are ministers.
Take some time, possibly with your church staff or other adults going on your trip, to help personalize the gifts you see in your youth. Help them name and claim these gifts.
I am so excited that you are going on our summer trip (camp, youth gathering). I know you already got a list of what to bring that included, socks, tooth brushes and lots of deodorant. Now I want to add a couple more things. These are things that only you can bring!
I need you to bring along several extras. You see, you have some special gifts that are needed. Actually you have many, but a couple that stand out to me are your abilities to…
(Be specific as possible. Here are some examples.)
- listen to others.
- help everyone feel included.
- laugh and have fun, but also to sit quietly with people when they need to talk.
- spot and be there for the person who needs to be comforted.
- see a need and then jump in and help.
- meet youth from other groups and help them feel welcomed by ours.
- see how others are serving us and express your appreciation.
- see how God and our faith connects to our experience.
- take time to spend with people you don’t know.
By bringing these gifts, you help us to be a youth ministry! I think that is bigger than being a youth group. Groups become all about themselves, sort of inward facing clubs. Youth ministry is about the caring, welcoming and affirming of others everyday.
To make this more than a group experience, I definitely need your help. Bringing your gifts and using them often is what will really make our trip a ministry building experience.
Thanks for being you!
youth minister, pastor