3 Choices to Avoid Crisis

Don’t you hate it when you find yourself running from one crisis to another?

Suddenly everything you planned goes out the window and you are forced to drop everything to run to the passport office, get your car fixed, hold an emergency meeting, dash to the FedEx depot, or fly out to a store.

When I am in the midst of a crisis, my heart races, temperature rises, my patience is as short as my shallow breaths and I begin to hate my life. Panic can set in along with these last minute problems that jump me when I am least prepared.

Because I hate crises so much, I have determined to avoid them like the plague by making and sticking to these three proactive choices.

How To Bring Control To A Chaotic Situation

Nothing good comes from chaos…

As I said in my last blog there was a season when we saw many new students come to the youth ministry.  The immediate reaction was “Great!”  Don’t get me wrong, it was great but it was also extremely chaotic.

Imagine walking around your youth ministry and instead of students praying or encouraging each other you hear F-bombs – also finding remnants of weed in the bathroom, and alcohol being sneaked in.  In short it was chaos.  This is not what I envisioned youth ministry to be like and I was not trained to deal with all of this.  As a result I learned these lessons through the school of hard knocks.

For whatever reason, if your youth ministry is chaotic how do you bring control without losing all of the students.  These three lessons were learned the hard way but I think they could benefit you.

One-on-One Discipleship

 You mean Coaching?

One of the big buzz words among church people these days is coaching. By “coaching” what is meant, is that you find a caring person who will challenge you to grow in areas of your life. There is an element of coaching involved as that person helps you to set goals then keeps you accountable to reaching those goals. At the Youth Ministry Institute, we take this so seriously that every student does One-on-Ones with a prof.

3 Shifts To See New Students Come To Your Youth Ministry

We all want to see students who don’t know Jesus come to our ministry but let’s be honest, it doesn’t happen that often.

Why is that? I am sure we are working hard and trying our best to pour into the students we have and to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus yet.  We might see a few new students show up but never what we were hoping for.

There was a season that I was working as hard as I have ever worked but we never saw new students.  Then there were three shifts that took place and everything changed.  Our youth ministry started to have students show up in droves that didn’t know Jesus, that didn’t know church culture (hello F-bombs, alcohol and drugs) and were from different religions.

Depth vs Fun

Do you need to sacrifice one for the other?

I will often hear youth workers talking about and critiquing their ministry or another one. They often use the words depth and fun. It will go something like, “Ya, that youth ministry has lots of students but all they do is fun and games, there is no depth”. The other thing I will hear is, “In fact our numbers are down but there is depth to our youth ministry. We are just trying to dig deep with these students.”

In the important youth ministry book, Sticky Faith they make the case from extensive research that students want time for deep conversations and not more games (pg. 141-142). As I was reading this section in Sticky Faith I found myself agreeing but only to a point.

My question is why does it have to be depth or fun, why can’t it be both? Leonard Sweet called this approach to learning “edutainment”. I think that our efforts need to focus on discipleship that is engaging and yes, even entertaining.

Here are some ways this can be accomplished.

4 Ways to Break Up Cliques

 

My older sister went to our church’s youth ministry but it didn’t last long.  In fact after only lasting a short time she decided to never go back.  The simple reason was that the group of girls in her age bracket were a clique and there was no way she was going to get into that group.  Dealing with cliques in your youth ministry is one of the most important issues you can address to make sure students want to come back.

The Six Key Conditions for Health and Growth

Okay, now might not be the best growing season where you live but I know that with the correct conditions any youth group can begin to experience better health and growth even now. Just the same way that living things need warmth, water, sunlight, and nutrients youth groups require some essential elements to thrive. Without these elements or if your group is deficient in one of these areas, your students are not going to grow as they should. So what are these six key conditions?