student ministry help

I love the model of relational ministry. My push is to get the leadership team to stop clumping together in back walls. Youth ministry is not the place for adults to congregate and get caught up on each other’s lives. Get involved people! Yet, there is something that can happen from time to time where there can be “too much” relational ministry. A leader steps up to get to know students and unwittingly creates a “clique” of student followers. It’s rarely intentional. Perhaps a handful of students want to tell you alone about their problems. It could be that others think you are the “coolest” leader in the bunch.


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I think programatic youth ministry has gotten a bad rap over the past few years or decades. A solid program is the skeleton in which relationships can be built and faith gets formed. With no program, there is just you and a half dozen kids. Every great youth ministry has a program that is fun, engaging, inviting, and points towards Jesus. But a good reminder is that no matter how amazing our programs are, how many cool lights and graphics we have, what are online presence and platform has become, without personal contact we have nothing.

At its very core, ministry is about relationships. Now I know you are pretty smart and know this. But before you skim down to the end or click to a new page, ask yourself if you really do know this? A good gut check is to take a look at your calendar and see how you spend your time. Of all the hours you have allotted to pull of ministry, how many of them are spent building relationship, doing contact work, texting your guts out, facebook and instagram stalking, buying ice cream and coffee for, calling, etc. Chances are less and less of your time is devoted to these things.


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This weekend was the weekend we welcome the in-coming 7th graders to the youth group. Saturday afternoon was spent with small group leaders and teenagers playing field games while their parents were in a few informational meetings. At the end of the afternoon, students split up with their small group leaders to go hang out for the evening. As always, it was an awesome time.

I left the event as I always do: energized, invigorated, hopeful, excited . . . Welcoming these fresh faces into our youth ministry recharges my batteries and gets me excited for the new school year.


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