NYWC 2019 | Speaker Feature Blog Recap
In less than a week, the Youth Specialties family celebrates 50 years of National Youth Workers Conventions across the country. To join us, these speakers, and thousands of other youth workers, register today!
We were fortunate on the #ysblog to feature some of our voices at NWYC 2019 over the last 2 months. Here’s a run through of some of the highlights that makes these thought leaders so helpful and inspirational to youth workers:
The Gospel, Racism, and An Invitation | John Hambrick
What would you do if you heard someone say, “If that church isn’t interested in fighting against racism, then I’m not interested in that church,” and it turns out they were talking about your church? What would you do if you heard a student say, “I’m not going to that youth group because there’s nobody there who looks like me,” and it turns out they were talking about the youth group you lead?
I wish I could say that was the only time I felt uncomfortable in church for being a person of color but sadly it is not. For as long as I have been saved, I have been in predominantly white churches, and for as long as I have been alive, I have not been white. Being a person of color in predominantly white churches has always kept me having, as W. E. B. Du Bois coined, a “double consciousness.”
There seems to be an automatic reflex that churches experience when their young people graduate from high school and youth groups. It’s fueled by anxious adults’ impulses to keep their kids from losing faith, falling away, or skipping church. Any inspired (or panicked) solutions typically are assigned to the youth pastor since “they’re basically your youth group kids anyway.”
8 Hacks For Managing A Room Full Of Teenagers | Ashley Bohinc
- Have you ever stood in front of a roomful of teenagers and felt like you had absolutely no control over what was happening in the room?
- Have you ever attempted to teach a lesson and walked off stage wondering if the students even heard and processed anything you said?
- Have you ever tried to engage your student audience in your lesson, but lost complete control of the room in the process?
- Have you ever just wanted to give up (or at least shout a few curse words on your way home)?
If your answer is, “Yes,” to any or all of these questions, you’re in the right place.
Strengthening and Deepening Your Gospel Impact | Greg Stier
In an interview with the Barna Group, Cru Missions Director Josh Chen says, “Millennials and Gen Z have higher levels of anxiety than any other generation.” According to Dr. Betsy Nesbit, such high levels of anxiety put them in a constant state of “fight or flight’….” The inner turmoil within these young souls is manifesting itself in epidemics of self-harm, suicides, school shootings, and more. We’re looking at a generation of young people growing up without hope.
5 Steps To Plan With Purpose | Vince Parker
When is the last time you found yourself asking “why?” Why do the days seem to run together? Why does it feel like summer camp just wrapped up and now kids are already back in school? Why does it feel like it’s too soon to be planning a new year of youth experiences and strategies? Why can I not get in front of things? Do you find yourself knowing where you would like to see your ministry go but just can’t seem to gain traction and you don’t know why?
7 Undeniable Characters of [most] Middle Schoolers | Ashley Bohinc
No matter where you’re working with middle schoolers, I think these seven things will stay true. It’s who they are in this phase, and it’s why they need people like you cheering them on and loving them as they figure it out.
What Being Together Is And Isn’t | Lucas Ramirez
Let this idea shake you up: Jesus believes that the Church can be as united as He is with the Father and the Holy Spirit! So, when we say together, it must carry the mystery and weight of the Trinity. For one thing, this means we can’t ever quit on together. This also means we submit and serve one another relentlessly as we co-create with God the future He wants.
3 Tools For A Strong Personal Ministry Toolbox | Allison Williams
Being a youth worker can feel like a never-ending list of tasks: Prepare a lesson, run background checks, organize receipts, grab coffee with that potential volunteer, sit through meetings, program youth group for this week… the list is never-ending. Everything we do feels critical to someone, right?
5 Simple Ways To Respond To Teens With Anxiety And Depression | Chinwé Williams
Being a teen is tough. Teens are dealing with major physical and mental changes, heightened desire for peer acceptance, and the simultaneous pull towards independence and away from the safety and protection of family. In addition, the rapid growth in brain development makes them prone to anxiety and depression.
12 Things Every 12th Grader Needs Before They Move Away | Kara Powell
In his study of college freshmen, sociologist Tim Clydesdale found that students often become stunned by all they have to tackle in their “daily life management.” Away from parents and the stability of home, young people can be somewhat shell-shocked by the lack of boundaries and abundance of new choices. The better we prepare 12th graders for the road that lies ahead, the less likely they are to choose a dangerous detour.
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.