We want every church to equip their youth with the caring, welcoming and affirming skills of Peer Ministry Leadership. What follows is an explanation of the PML plan to get your church started! Most often, two or more congregations work together, sharing costs and allowing participants to learn from people they may not know as well as those in their own congregation.
Let’s begin where you want to end up!
- create a magnetic culture of caring, welcoming and affirming throughout your programs.
- know they are leaders valued by your congregation.
- daily apply relational ministry skills in all relationships.
- learn how to train PML and will lead your next trainings.
- encourage and support student leaders throughout your congregation.
- mentor individual PML youth to review and enhance youth leadership.
- known for producing student leaders.
- growing in youth participation.
- growing in spiritual depth.
A Foundational Relational Culture
Peer Ministry Leadership is viewed as the underlying relational foundation for all your programs. Programs are merely programs unless there is an intentional group of youth and adult leaders who create a caring, welcoming and affirming culture. Peer Ministry Leadership is the best system we know for creating that culture, with leaders who love because Christ first loved them. (I Jn. 4:19).
Youth Who Continue to Value Church
We also believe that youth who learn PML skills and are given significant opportunities to use these skills continue in the church! PML youth hear the all important words, “We need you!” from their congregation. “Youth are either leading or leaving.” When church values youth for meaningful ministry, youth, in turn, value the church!
PML Training Logistics
We use a combination of on-site training, coaching connections, along with written resources.
Begin with PML Kickstart Coaching
A couple of months before the training, we begin with a pre-session via the magic of Skype or conference calling that we call our PML Kickstart coaching. We refer to this group as your street team, which consists of few of your adult leaders and key youth. This team is made up of your people who want to be in-the-know and will enthusiastically help others to also be in be in-the-know. This meeting allows us to describe the training days, directly answer questions, and motivate excitement. We will ask your team to begin thinking about practical applications for after the training, plus plan ways to communicate to youth, parents and your congregation. A big advantage is that the staff person is no longer the lone middle person. Our observation: it has greatly enhanced churches’ participation in the training!
The training, held at your site, is always a great highlight. Often it takes place over part of a weekend, about 11 to 12 hours with a cross-generational group of youth and adults. Our PML training facilitator comes with no laser lights, no smoke machines, not even a power-point. The training time begins with a circle of chairs and is about the people who come together, learning heart-to-heart, person-to-person, and face-to-face. Together, people experience creative, fun-illed activities, learn the skills, share in real life stories as they practice the skills, and participate in various spiritual practices. Is it fun? Of course! The youth and youthfulness of the participants always make it so.
Of course you want to know!
$2,200 covers training weekend plus for coaching sessions, one before and three after the training.
Additional costs will be trainer expenses and your resources.
The Good News! We hope you share these costs with one to three other congregations!
Who Should Come?
Adults who will learn how to provide training for your next group of youth, and some who will be willing to meet with your new PML youth as leadership mentors, possibly four times a year.
Youth who want to know how to better care for others, as well as participate in various relational leadership capacities.
After the Training
People never go to a training or workshop and internalize everything. That is why the skills that are learned and used in PML training need to be encouraged and used in the congregation, as well as “out-there” in every day settings. Helping participants find practical situations to use their new skills, with regular check-in times, assures that your training experience is not forgotten. We hope you do this in several ways!
We hope that soon after the training you can facilitate one-on-one relational times between your PML youth and others in your congregation.
- a youth who is new to your congregation.
- a youth whose parent says, “I would love for a PML youth to meet one-on-one.”
- a youth who is worried about a friend and can gain direction and support from a PML friend.
- confirmation students, meeting to share faith and life stories.
- an interview project, asking youth to record the faith stories of older members.
We also hope your PML participants become part of a relational leadership team. This team may be similar to a camp staff that helps lead various elements like games, introductions to the evening’s topic, retreats for younger teens, candle time prayers, and small groups. The advantage is that, no matter what they are leading, they will understand that above all else, the relational time and connections are their top priority.
If there are “in-house ministries,” it only follows that there must also be “out-house ministries!” Ministry happens beyond the walls of a church every day, everywhere, and in every relationship. Here is the question to keep asking your youth that will change your focus from an inward group to an outward ministry. “What are the concerns you hear, see or sense out there among the people you interact with?” We call these spirit nudges, as there seems to be those times when something catches our attention, “I feel concern.” “Maybe I should talk to that person.” The amazing discovery is that such nudges often lead to important caring, welcoming, or affirming conversations.
ADULT LEADERSHIP MENTORING
“The only time a person learns anything is when they reflect back on it.” This is an essential educational principle! Adults plan several mentoring times throughout the next year. Adults meet with student leaders to reflect on how their skills are being used, both at church and in everyday life. During this time, participants revisit and practice at least one of the key relational skills.
DEVELOPING STUDENT LEADER – COACHING
Training is great, but without a solid implementation plan, it can quickly become just another manual on the shelf. We don’t want that! “Training without follow-up is malpractice” is another wonderful educational principle. We work with at least one key leader from each church to strategize and customize leadership development plans after the training. We start with a collection of 24 strategies that are creative approaches congregations can use to produce leadership. We will work with you to select and implement the ones most important to you.
Coaching will help you build a program structure so that your Peer Ministry Leadership youth will lead, grow your foundational culture, and experience being needed. We will help you set up systems for encouraging and supporting youth to use their skillsevery day, everywhere and in every relationship.
You will be known as a congregation that produces leadership!
(If PML is something you want to see with in the next couple of years we should start the conversation now! Send a note, ask questions, let’s put a plan together!” <EMAIL>)