Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don't Leave the Church.

Great article here about youth who stick with their faith.

I would also add that students to have relationships with several adults in the church are more likely to stick with their faith as well. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Building a Team

I wrote a post for Morethandodgeball.com a while back.  This article ties in nicely with the recent post about our team growing.

Here is a link to the article on simplyyouthministry.com

Building a Team Starts with One.

IGUEST POST: Building a Team Starts with One

Josh Griffin —  October 28, 2008 — 2 Comments
Andy Lawrenson sent in this great article about volunteers and building a team. Good stuff in here, would love to add your thoughts to guest post week here on MTDB as well just and send in your article.
I often have conversations with youth leaders doing youth ministry all alone. This is a bad place to be. For liability reasons, but more importantly for effectiveness in ministering to the needs of students. Perhaps a lone youth leader can effectively minister to a handful of students? Jesus led twelve and really invested and focused on the lives of three. We may think a little more highly of ourselves than we ought if we believe we can minister to the whole youth group no matter the size.
The question I am asked is, “How do you build a team?” In addition to the great youth ministry books out there with some wonderful practical help on building a team, here are a few of my thoughts:
Start with One, find one person in your church’s congregation that you feel from your knowledge of them that they would be a great start to a team approach, perhaps a parent of a youth, a college student, or even an older adult. Start with one and then approach them and invite them personally. Pleas from the podium rarely have results. It’s harder for them to say “no” to your face.
Expectations, list your expectations of your team members. Make sure to clearly define what will be expected from them in their position on the team. It is frustrating to have a job without a job description so make sure that for your team members know their job description. If their ministry is to simply sit with students during youth group make sure they understand to sit “with” the students. Give them clear guidelines on dealing with disruptive students.
Training, most of us receive the bulk of our training in youth ministry while on the job often the same goes with our youth ministry team members. Taking the whole team to an annual conference would be great but for many this is not feasible. Look for opportunities for training within driving distance, one-day seminars. Buy books that your team members can check out and read. Use e-mail and send our team links to great youth ministry articles and then ask for the team to reply with their thoughts. Utilize team meetings and mix in 20 or 30 minutes of training.
Reward, find some fun ways to express your thanks to your team. Get together and put away the agenda and have some fun together as a team. If ministry isn’t fun then ministers won’t last long in the ministry. If the youth ministry team is having a great time serving together it will be a magnet to others in the church.
JG
- See more at: http://blog.simplyyouthministry.com/general-ministry/guest-post-building-a-team-starts-with-one/#sthash.T5QEtbys.dpuf

GUEST POST: Building a Team Starts with One

Josh Griffin —  October 28, 2008 — 2 Comments
Andy Lawrenson sent in this great article about volunteers and building a team. Good stuff in here, would love to add your thoughts to guest post week here on MTDB as well just and send in your article.
I often have conversations with youth leaders doing youth ministry all alone. This is a bad place to be. For liability reasons, but more importantly for effectiveness in ministering to the needs of students. Perhaps a lone youth leader can effectively minister to a handful of students? Jesus led twelve and really invested and focused on the lives of three. We may think a little more highly of ourselves than we ought if we believe we can minister to the whole youth group no matter the size.
The question I am asked is, “How do you build a team?” In addition to the great youth ministry books out there with some wonderful practical help on building a team, here are a few of my thoughts:
Start with One, find one person in your church’s congregation that you feel from your knowledge of them that they would be a great start to a team approach, perhaps a parent of a youth, a college student, or even an older adult. Start with one and then approach them and invite them personally. Pleas from the podium rarely have results. It’s harder for them to say “no” to your face.
Expectations, list your expectations of your team members. Make sure to clearly define what will be expected from them in their position on the team. It is frustrating to have a job without a job description so make sure that for your team members know their job description. If their ministry is to simply sit with students during youth group make sure they understand to sit “with” the students. Give them clear guidelines on dealing with disruptive students.
Training, most of us receive the bulk of our training in youth ministry while on the job often the same goes with our youth ministry team members. Taking the whole team to an annual conference would be great but for many this is not feasible. Look for opportunities for training within driving distance, one-day seminars. Buy books that your team members can check out and read. Use e-mail and send our team links to great youth ministry articles and then ask for the team to reply with their thoughts. Utilize team meetings and mix in 20 or 30 minutes of training.
Reward, find some fun ways to express your thanks to your team. Get together and put away the agenda and have some fun together as a team. If ministry isn’t fun then ministers won’t last long in the ministry. If the youth ministry team is having a great time serving together it will be a magnet to others in the church.
JG
- See more at: http://blog.simplyyouthministry.com/general-ministry/guest-post-building-a-team-starts-with-one/#sthash.T5QEtbys.dpuf

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Team is Growing!

This past week I had the privilege of bringing two new church partners on to our YM team!  The interview time with them reminded me of our history as a youth ministry as well as our future.
I pray this means that God is about to grow our group some more.  It's not about the numbers but each number is a student who is being reached with the love and good news of Jesus Christ.
Our current student to youth minister ratio is about 5 to 1.   That's  pretty good!

Some suggestions for interviewing new team members:

1.  Have an application - you need all their important contact info.  Our application also includes space for them to share their faith story as well as why they feel God would have them to serve on the team.

2.  Clearly defined expectations and job description.  (our team members serve each and every Sunday night)

3.  Background check. (a step in protecting students and team members) 

4.  A signed covenant.  (expectations we agree on)

5.  Get some references - especially important if they are new to you or your congregation.   We ask for a reference from their previous pastor.  This could give good insight into who they are as a person and also help prevent any future conflict.

6.  Spend some time meeting with them.  At our interview last week I shared:
> our history
> our expectations
> teaming with parents
> our strategy
> our philosophy

7.  Find out a little about their personality type.  It really helps if your team can gel and understanding how we are each "wired" can be a huge step in that direction.

8.  Pray together

9.  Introduce the new team members to the rest of the team.

10.  Training.  Much of our training is "on the job" but I also send our team articles to read and we get together each week before youth group to run through our "game plan" for the night.  Once a year we have a team retreat to get together and have fun together and learn together.

If your volunteers fill the role of chaperone it may be time to come up with a new approach to youth ministry.  Some training for your volunteers, sit down with them and hash out the expectations.  Cast vision for what their role is and why they are so vital to the youth ministry.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Super Bowl Party = Great. The Game = BORING

We hosted our annual Super Bowl Party this past Sunday evening (that would only make sense).
At the writing of this blog post our church does not have cable or satellite so we streamed the game online and put it on the big screen and flat screens in The Loft.  Worked great with only a few hiccups.

We asked the students to bring either a bag of chips or a package of cookies.  The result is we have enough chips to last for the rest of February's youth group gatherings. (all part of the plan)
Here are the stats:
18 sq. feet of dip, chips and other goodies. (you have to hear "goodies" in the voice of Nacho)
40 roast beef, ham, and turkey melts.
A triple batch of queso.
12 liters of soda pop.
2 gallons of red Kool Aid.


The sandwich melts were easy to make and a great way to feed a bunch of people without a lot of work.  We placed sandwich meat (we used Boar's Head meats and cheese) and cheese on a hamburger bun.  Wrapped each sandwich individually in aluminum foil.  Popped them in the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Then we moved them into a roaster oven to keep them warm.  Students grabbed the sandwich they desired.  We wrote on the foil with a sharpie so they knew what was roast beef, ham or turkey, etc.

 
One of our team members, we call her "Cinni Mini", make some sort of giant food for the party each year.  This year she made Dip Stadium.  Home made bean dip and guacamole and lots of other good stuff.  Check it out!









During half time another team member, we call him "Scott", shared from the Bible and showed this challenging video.



This is a great inexpensive event to do and the students who attend have a blast hanging out together.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Refuel Retreat



I am really looking forward to attending the Refuel Retreat.  I've been to the big national youth worker events in the past and love them.  Refuel caps their attendance off at 30.  So it's small, intimate I'm looking forward to that aspect even though I'm more comfortable in a large crowd. 

As I venture into my "older" years I often wonder what youth ministry will look like for me.  Much has changed in my approach and level of activity (I learned a few years ago to not to try to outrun a 16 year old playing manhunt).  More will be shaped as I edge into my 50's.  Oh my!!!  I see equipping and turning loose youth ministers from within the church becoming my thing as time goes on.  At the retreat we will be refueling spiritually and life mapping.  I'm not sure what life mapping is all about but I guess I'll find out. 

So I am stoked about Refuel.  Check it out.  Refuel is put on by Leader Treks.  Great people with some great resources.

The retreat I'm attending will cover the following: (as well as worship time)
1. Leading Yourself
Developing your own leadership identity is key to overcoming so many of the challenges you face in ministry. This will help you find success in your leadership and will prevent you from mimicking others around you.

2. Leading the Mission
Are you spending most of your time in areas that push the mission forward or in areas that drain your energy? When you learn how to lead the mission, you’ll steer the ministry in the right direction.

3. Leading Up
Every youth pastor needs to work with people who are older than they are: adult volunteers, parents, and senior pastors to name a few. Knowing how to effectively lead up is one of the most essential things a youth pastor can learn and it can help the church rally behind the youth ministry in big ways.

New Site is up and Running

My new web site which now hosts my blog posts is up and fully functional. You can check it out at andylawrenson.com . There is also a mon...