The Projects

In youth ministry, there are always projects. Projects like events, activities organizing, staff meetings, leadership, curriculum, and others. Then there are project kids and parents. So yeah, projects are everywhere. But I think there are some projects that are far more important than others. Here is a list of what I think are the MOST important “projects” and in what order.

  1. Your own soul: So often we ignore our own soul, relegating it to a “when I have time” status. This is a project that should not be ignored, it should be a primary concern. Time spent in the Word, in prayer, personal worship and growth is never a waste of time. It will never be less important. It is the number one project you should concern yourself with. But it isn’t the end-all. Imagine a world in which everyone stood silent, staring into their own soul all day. Nothing else would be accomplished. So look at this primarily as a “soul care”. It is like a continual waiting at the cross, maintenance of your soul and a daily dependent care of your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Your marriage, then family: In this exact order. When we focus on kids before marriage- bad things can happen. If you are properly caring for your soul, that is depending on Jesus, then you are also caring for your spouse. Marriage is God’s best idea for us, in fact he refers to the Church as His bride and the author of Hebrews tells us to “honor the marriage bed”. So Your marriage is of critical importance- care for it and treat it as a valuable project in need of constant care and creativity. Your kids are also in this boat and require great attention and focus. They are your greatest treasures and deserve as much attention and love as you are able and willing to give. Spend time in prayer for your family and as God to teach you to be the loving, creative, and involved father or mother that he wants you to be. Invest time in this project.
  3. Church life: More than the youth ministry we are called to serve in, church life is a project that you ought to be devoting time to. Not only for your friendships and relationships within the church (which will increase your effectiveness in the lives of your teens and elongate your time as the youth pastor) but also for the health of your family, marriage, and soul. Relationships with people in the church are very important, take time to develop them and grow in them.
  4. Pastor: Your pastor is a project. You must be working together and in sync with the move of God. Spend time in prayer at lunch and in strategy sessions. These will increase your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God and you will encourage one another to love and good deeds.
  5. Teens: Working IN the youth ministry is more important than working on it. Spend time each week mentoring several teens and helping them to grow in their faith. Not only will you set an example for other adult leaders, but you will demonstrate that you care for the individual lives of the kids in your “program”. Like they say, “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
  6. Adult volunteers: Developing your adult staff is also VERY important. Releasing others into ministry and helping them to grow into the men and women that God has called them to be in reaching teens is part of your job- work hard to provide resources, tips, and spend quality time with each leader. They will in turn spend time with teens and will multiply the ministry rather than simply add to it. You will see great increase in leadership and effectiveness if you have a strong adult volunteer core.
  7. Events, activities, programs, and details: These parts of the ministry are also very important. We must devote time to these parts of the ministry and we must properly plan for events and activities. If we do not, then our events will suck and kids won’t  come. If you are spending time with the Lord and developing your soul and leading your adult volunteers, then creativity and help will not be a problem. You will be full of energy and will have a ton of creative ideas. Take time each week to brainstorm through the events and make them as good as you can!

This is my list- do you have one? What would you change from this list of priorities in youth ministry?

Advertisements

Grow yourself, grow your youth ministry!

There are two options for excellent training for youth pastors. But before we get into that we need to ask the question- WHY? Why should you get additional and continual training in your field? Because it is important to stay sharp! As we progress in our work, and grow in the ministry God has given us it is important to continually be growing in our walk with God, our skill set to reach teens for Christ and our ability to lead others. Also, we need constant encouragement. Youth pastors are a unique breed of people and the only people who really under understand are other youth pastors! It isn’t just about the unique training though, there is also an important aspect of networking with these small groups. And the really cool thing is that you never have to leave your home or office. It’s all done online. We even have a team ready and willing to help you get all set up online if you’re not a regular online user. It’s easy, simple, and unique to your needs.

A unique online training and networking opportunity!

Creating a Movement is designed to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of a plan for deep discipleship. It’s focus is on the long-term impact of youth ministry and strategic planning for the future as we seek to make disciples of Jesus.

The training is a unique online experiece for youth pastors, injected with the type of networking that only happens when a group of youth pastors get together to talk and pray about what only youth pastors understand. Register now to get the tools and support you’ve been looking for.

In Their Own Words

Here’s how Chris Rollman, alumni and current facilitator, describes it:

Creating a Movement of Discipleship is integral to anyone who is involved with student ministry. As someone who leads a youth ministry or volunteers with students, we must always be asking how discipleship should and can happen.

If discipleship does not occur in our sphere of influence and relationships, then we will be hard pressed to live out what Jesus said was our mission on this earth. He said to “Go, and Make Disciples!”

This course focuses on scripture, relationship with other folks that are in the course, and planning that will move us to action within our ministries. God desires that each of us make disciples in the context that he has us in. This is crucial to the mission that he has called his followers too.

Creating a Movement is online training that will help you create a cohesive, guiding, yet simple plan for a disciple making youth ministry. You will learn to involve others in the planning process so that when you finish, there is a team of committed adult volunteers that are now invested and engaged in the future of the youth ministry.

We’ll talk about how to use scripture and Jesus’ as the model for your ministry. This course offers perspective on the discipleship model of Jesus and how he worked with his disciples. The gospel is transformative in the lives of people and is no less transformational for teenagers that we work with.

The result: More time for (and more people) discipling students in your church. Learn all about the training.

Networking with Other Youth Pastors… Online?

Yep! Ok it can be a little awkward at first. But once you get used to the video chat it’s pretty stinkin’ awesome. You’ll be learning with a small group of youth pastosr from all over the country, sharing your experience, wisdom and ideas.

Unique and awesome. Sounds like youth ministry. Read more about the networking.

Tuesdays at 10am Central Time
May 8-June 26
Led by Brandon Baker

Thursdays at 7pm Central Time
May 10-June 28
Led by Wes Johnson

Without question, the person of Christ was the most influential person to ever walk the earth. Priorities is a new series focused on exploring the foundational principles Jesus lived and taught so you can apply them in your own youth ministry.

The goal is not just to “teach” these topics to students. You will be equipped with tons of practical ideas that will help them take ownership of these pinpricniples in their own lives so they can reflect the life of Christ.

Format

Priorities is broken up into 6 seperate 4 week sessions, one on each topic. They are in no particular order so you can do one session, several, or all of them and still walk away with some awesome training.

  • Dependence on the Holy Spirit
  • Prayer (NEW GROUP LAUNCHING MAY 10th 2012)
  • Obedience to the Kingdom Agenda (anticipation & hope)
  • Word of God
  • Exalting the Father
  • Intentional Relationships

More about these topics.

Each 4 week session includes an in-depth leader’s Bible study, weekly group discussion via Skype video chat, and tons of practical ideas.

It is our prayer that your ministry will grow and be refreshed as you focus on the priorities Christ taught and lived.

Networking

It wouldn’t be Called to Youth Ministry online training without awesome networking! Throughout the training you will have the opportunity to work with a small group of other youth pastors from all over the country. The new friendships you make are, quite frankly, awesome.

Thursdays at 10am Central
May 10-May 31
Led by Nathan Cornett

Lesson Illustration Idea for Youth Ministry | Object Lesson

I saw this on FB on a friend’s page and I really liked it. Nothing too profound, but it is illustrative!

“Tried something fun today. I was teaching a group of high schoolers and junior highers about the Gifts of the Spirit -their purpose, accessing them, operating in them, etc. so I started by explaining that there is a “wireless network” that can be picked up anywhere. no device is needed to access. It is free to subscribe because the annual subscription fee was paid once by someone else a long time ago. there is a one-word password that has never been changed, nor will it ever be (hint: it is the first name of the person who paid the eternal lifetime sub subscription fee). The number of people on this network at the same time, in no way slows down the speed of downloads. The only reason the subscribers often down use is because they choose not to log on – if more subscribers only realized all the benefits of the “KOG network”!

Fun Game High School Ministry!

Last night we played “The Adventures of the Traveling Gnome” at our high school group. We started with a BBQ, then went into worship and the message for the night, and we left about 1 1/2 hours at the end of the night for the game. I wasn’t sure how it would go. I started with the template from The Source 4 YM with their game called “kidnapped gnomes“, but I wasn’t too impressed. So I tried to spice it up a bit by having each of my adult leaders use their iPhones to film each one of the tasks (which are worth certain amounts of points) and then send me their clips so I can edit them this week. Next week we will watch each groups’ video and judge which one is the best 🙂

So here’s the basic idea. We split our group into three teams of 6 (a carload) and gave each team a gnome. They had to name their gnome, someone had to be the voice of the gnome, and the had to give him/her a personality. Then each group had a list of items they needed to film their gnome doing with it’s personality/name/voice. For example:

50 Points Each
Drinking coffee at a coffee shop
Shopping for vegetables at a grocery store
Playing on a swing set
Going to school
Dancing or playing an instrument
Driving a car as if in a speed chase
Trying to get in a store that has a “Closed” sign up

100 Points 
Caught in the act of trying to escape
Eating with chopsticks
Having a conversation with another LO about the experience
Being interviewed by a reporter about his/her adventures so far

200 Points
Asking a stranger for a date
Posing with a community or emergency worker (paramedic, fire dept. personnel, police officer, etc.)
Working behind the counter at a fast food joint
Posing by a house with a “For Sale” sign & saying why they like this house
LO doing a TV commercial for a product
END THE VIDEO WITH A GROUP HUG AND FAREWELL STATEMENT FROM THE LO

Prizes will be awarded for: 
Blockbuster Award: Most Points
MTV Award: Single funniest scene
Director’s Award: Funniest overall video

Our groups’ video ends with the gnome in Heaven after a deadly car crash resulting in the high speed chase that resulted in being caught breaking into the closed dry cleaners shop while trying to get his dry cleaning from spilling sushi on his clothes while eating with chopsticks after a hard day’s work making a commercial for a dental company… It was a saga.  And the kids loved it.

The cool thing (and the hard part from my perspective), is that the kids are looking forward to seeing their videos next week and seeing who won.

Here is our group video with a little sneak peek…

Training and Networking

Online Youth Ministry Training

One of the most profound ways that we can grow as youth workers is through the continual deepening of our relationships, and through continuing education. Most churches will offer some kind of fund for conferences, books, continuing education; it is usually just a matter of asking. And it doesn’t matter if we are a paid staff member or a volunteer who believes in investing in the lives of our teens, the importance of YOUR personal growth is still critical.

Last night we had “The World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae” which consisted of 4 gallons of ice cream, an entire bottle of chocolate and caramel syrup, three jars of cherries, one jar of nuts, three cans of whipped cream, and 10-15 bananas.  We sat in a row, all 9 of our high school students, and ate from a 10 foot plastic rain gutter! It was delicious! I cannot wait to tell my friend Nate Dame, a youth ministry volunteer and the founder of Called To Youth Ministry.com; that’s the power of networking. It is a relationship with a person on the other side of the country who I have only met through Google Hangouts- yet I cannot wait to tell him about this activity and HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS.

NOW ANNOUNCING

Called To Youth Ministry is offering several new opportunities for you to network with other youth pastors and volunteers dedicated to seeing their youth ministry grow. These groups are limited, we can only take 9 participants per group to be led by a veteran youth pastor/minister. We limit the groups for several reasons, but one of them is to keep them intimate so every person is able to share their own experience and we can all learn from the groups.

I know that in my ministry here in San Diego, these groups have been so very important in sharing my struggles, getting ideas, being encouraged to keep moving forward and I believe they will do the same for you.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Groups offered on Tuesdays at 9am and Thursdays at 7pm Central Standard Time will be Creating a Movement of Student Discipleship. Creating a Movement is designed to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of a plan for deep discipleship. It’s focus is on the long-term impact of youth ministry and strategic planning for the future as we seek to make disciples of Jesus.

The training is a unique online experience for youth pastors, injected with the type of networking that only happens when a group of youth pastors get together to talk and pray about what only youth pastors understand. Register now to get the tools and support you’ve been looking for.

The group offered on Thursdays at 10am Central Standard Time will be from the Priorities series specifically focused on prayer. Without question, the person of Christ was the most influential person to ever walk the earth. Priorities is a new series focused on exploring the foundational principles Jesus lived and taught so you can apply them in your own youth ministry.

The goal is not just to “teach” these topics to students. You will be equipped with tons of practical ideas that will help them take ownership of these principles in their own lives so they can reflect the life of Christ.

Now What?

You can sign up with me right now. Any time before May 2 and you will get a $10 discount just for being an early bird. And you know what they say about the early bird. Get on it, you won’t regret it!

Creating a movement Tuesday at 9am CST sign up: $45 before May 2. Regular price is $55.

Creating a movement Thursday at 7pm CST sign up: $45 before May 2. Regular price is $55.

Priorities: Prayer Thursdays at 10am CST sign up: $35 before May 2. Regular price is $45.