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Adolescence

4 Must Do’s For Me As A Youth Worker in 2021

Tom Pounder
December 1st, 2020

Needless to say these days, but 2020 has been a doosy. While, in many ways, it was a very challenging year, there were some great things that came out of it. We learned a different way to do ministry and we were also reminded that some old school ways of ministry are still very effective (i.e. postcards and care packages). 

So, while 2020 has been a year unlike any other, there were some learnings and positives that have helped us minister to students more effectively. 

But now what? Especially considering COVID is rearing its ugly head again coming back stronger and impacting more and more parts of America and the world. What must you be doing now as we get ready to enter a new year? Here are 4 must do’s for me as a Youth Worker in 2021 that should help us stay ahead of the pandemic and keep us ministering to students effectively.

Plan B’s Are Necessary

If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. In order to be prepared for what is unexpected, we have to continue to evaluate as we go along and have Plan Bs in place for everything we do. Maybe even have a Plan C and D as well.

Over the Spring my state, Virginia, went from no shut down to complete shutdown in a matter of days and everyday coming with some new restriction.

Because today’s world is so unpredictable, we have to make sure that for any event or activity, you have a Plan B in effect just in case the unexpected happens. More likely than not, that unexpected thing will happen. 

Keep Making Digital Progress

We made tremendous progress in 2020 in reaching students online. We worked on improving our social media strategy, creating digital discipleship opportunities, and finally, got a great excuse to play video games! As you continue to look for opportunities to reach students, do not give up and forget all the digital progress you made.

Even when you can start meeting back in person, keep working on making digital content to help your students experience Christ and grow in their relationship with Him.

Go LIVE on Instagram, keep making YouTube or TikTok devotionals and discover how you can continue to adapt and utilize the ever changing digital world that our students are in.

Decentralize Youth Ministry So We Can Minister To More People

People are still scared to meet in large groups, and rightfully so. Make smaller groups a primary entry point. Create smaller Home Groups where students can gather in person, if possible, and let those groups grow and develop. Home Groups are great because it gives leaders an opportunity to “own” the group and take personal responsibility for pastoral care and ministering to those in that particular group.

Sure, it’s a bummer not being able to plan and execute some certain activities or weekend retreats that you used to do as a whole group. But, connecting students in smaller groups allows you to continue to meet in person longer within all the different government regulations.

And, more importantly, It connects more students with each other and adult leaders. This is a win for everyone and creates more ministry opportunities.

Keep Relationships A Priority

The coronavirus shut down our big events and huge youth group gatherings. It caused us to reflect and be reminded that it’s not the program that is going to win students for Christ, it’s the relationships. Keep investing in relationships with students, parents, and leaders in 2021. Students need those interactions and connections. Make relationship building and development a priority and see how God uses those relationships over the course of the year. 

We will forever remember what happened in 2020. The entire world was impacted by this pandemic. And while it changed so much about how we lived our lives or did ministry, 2021 doesn’t have to be a down year. Take what you’ve learned so far and make 2021 the best year of your ministry career and see what God does.  

What are some of your must dos you are planning for 2021?

Tom Pounder

Tom has a background in Student Ministry working over 20 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Student Minister and Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs regularly at YMsidekick.com about student, social and digital ministry strategies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.

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