Youth Leader: 4 To-Do’s For Today
Can you imagine any of the following being said of you as a youth worker?
- “Heather’s talks aren’t very good” (this is followed by either “there isn’t enough God-stuff/Scripture” or “they are too Theological and not applicable”).
- “My daughter decided youth group wasn’t for her, Jordan shows up at sporting events for other kids, but he has never once come to one of her piano recitals”
- “Ty is a good guy, but I can’t remember a time he ever asked us, as volunteers, for any ideas or input. I don’t want to just be a chaperone.”
When people find out what I do (coach, consult, network and personnel placements in youth ministry), they often give me “youth ministry feedback.” The above three are all recent and all real (just the names were changed).
If you’re a Youth Pastor/Director, I believe all three statements come back to one thing: relationship.
Those under our care want to be known.
I know it is impossible to know everyone well. I know you have ALL of the other things in your life you are trying to balance and do, but don’t let your natural desire to defend get in the way of hearing this simple point. Sheep are looking for their shepherd. Likewise, students and team members know your voice and want to be individually known.
This is not a guilt trip, and like I challenged ANY and ALL who issued their “feedback” to be part of the solution, I want to be part of the solution as well. I give all of us in the youth ministry field a “to-do-today” challenge that I believe will help you in your relationships.
- Tweet (Instagram or Facebook Post): Send a shout-out for all to hear/read about one of your students. (i.e. “was stoked to see @MirandaRocks at youth group last night, her smile always encourages me!”).
- Text: Shoot a group text message out to all your youth leaders praising them and asking for tangible youth ministry input. (i.e. “So thankful for our team. Quick question, shoot me a ministry high & and/or a ministry low for you over the last month”).
- Telephone: Take 5-10 minutes to call a parent you haven’t connected with in awhile and simply ask how you can pray for the family.
- Tell: Share a story in your next talk that is about a student or volunteer team member. The cool thing, this may motivate you to get out and see a recital, play or sporting event!
In all four of these you’re simply letting others know that you want to know, love and listen to them!
BRIAN AABY is the director of YS SEARCH & COACHING, assisting churches with personnel placement and provides coaching guidance for youth leaders. Brian served for 17 years as a youth pastor and then founded and led Youthmark since 2008. Brian speaks nationally at churches, camps, conference, and events. He and his wife, Elisabeth, have three children and reside near Seattle.
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.