In the previous post Darren, John, Leneita, and myself, gave four opinions of what youth ministry needs LESS of in 2013. If you are like me, it’s easy to talk about what is broken in youth ministry. But what can we do MORE of? Today, we’ll give you four candid opinions of what we think could benefit youth ministry in 2013. Once again, these are opinions based on what we see in the youth ministry landscape. They are not meant to offend or upset, just challenge you to consider… Feel free to comment and add your opinion too!
(Phil): In 2013, youth ministry needs more trained volunteers. Millennial students trust adults more than students did in the previous generations. More importantly, Millennial students long to belong and need caring adults in their lives. However, following on from the last 20 years of youth ministry, some of us are still convinced that we need more young and trendy paid youth workers to ‘save’ our students. I believe there is a place for the paid person, but the volunteer has become crucial in youth ministry in the last few years. I believe we need more committed and trained volunteers from a wide bandwidth of experience, age, and interests. These volunteers need to be equipped and invested in and cannot be seen as mere chaperones. It is simply not good enough to throw volunteers into the trenches without constant and careful training. No more chaperones please! Give me more volunteer leaders who can love and invest in students.
I predict that in the next 10 years we will see a greater shift in volunteer training and and youth pastors job descriptions will see greater emphasis on recruiting, training, and developing volunteers. With this we might expect to see less paid youth ministry staff…
(Leneita): In 2013 youth ministry needs to redefine success. A mentor of mine recently made the statement about pastors in general, “The problem with those in ministry is that we are unwilling to walk out the calling the Lord has on our life. While it is good to take nuggets of truth away from the high profile Christian leaders, we should not be trying to recreate their ministries. We have decided that the larger the group, the more in the limelight, the more successful we all are. However, we need to walk in the call that the Lord has placed on each of us. Their calling is for them, ours will be different.” Success should be defined as a faithful, obedience to the youth he has in your path. He has put you in your church/ministry, with this group, for such a time as this. Can you see them with the visionary eye of Christ and be totally devoted to doing whatever it takes to see them grow? That is a success.
(John): In 2013 Youth Ministry needs more youth workers who are fully invested. Now, you do not know what the Lord will have you doing in 10 years, however it could also be said that like Moses he will have you tend sheep for 40 years to prepare you for what’s to come. While Christ has you in youth ministry be “all in.” Youth ministry can be a season in your walk, but should never be seen as merely stepping stone to “what’s next.”
(Darren): In 2013, youth ministry needs more youth pastors who are committed to overall church. It astounds me the number of folks ‘called’ to youth ministry who treat their youth group like their own little church. The students we serve desperately need a larger community than our youth ministries. If youth pastors only want to preach to ‘their church’, they need to put on their big boy pants and go find a church to senior pastor. Otherwise, they need to do some forward thinking to reach Millennials and help them connect to the larger body of Christ.
What does youth ministry need more of? What have you learned in the last year that you need to add into your youth ministry? What would you add to this list? What do you disagree with on this list?