Over the course of the past year or so we have had the privilege of capturing the unique voices of youth leaders on a variety of topics. Check out the list below to see several great posts you may have missed.
1. Leave Us Alone: An Open Letter to Senior Pastors
by Jason Buckwalter
We’ve probably all wanted to scream, “Leave me alone!” at our Senior Pastors out of exhaustion at some point during the summer. We’re in the thick of summer now, and time is flying by. Some of you might just be saying, “If I can only make it until school starts…” For many of us, the pastor who supervises us is great, and we have great relationships with him or her. Even the best pastor, however, can fail to understand (or remember) the stresses that come with summer for their youth pastors. A soft reminder of the nature of our job is always better than a heat stroke, diarrhea, and sunburnt induced tantrum. To that end, I’ve written an open letter to senior pastors everywhere.
2. Shame: The Silencer
by Megan Dinnel
I tell my clients, “Shame is a liar,” because shame tells us, “this is really bad, you better not tell anyone about this, no one will understand.” In this way, shame perpetuates dysfunction by hiding problems that need to come out and be addressed. Shame paralyzes us and prevents us from inviting alternate perspectives on important issues in our lives. This is why it’s so important to be able to recognize and address shame in students. Shame will keep a student from being open and honest with adult mentors, and keep secrets to avoid “being exposed.”
3. Finding the Right Technology for Your Ministry
by Robert Click
We all have stories about using technology to meet a need whether it’s because we were the youngest on staff or the one who cared the most about the impression it made about the church. So we learned how to animate text in AfterEffects for our Christmas Eve service or we stayed up late on YouTube to learn how to shoot and edit our senior highlight video the next day, only to realize that these pieces might not be seen past their initial use. With technology today there are many great apps and websites to inspire and resource, and even streamline the work we’re all doing. Sometimes we just need to spend a few minutes deciding what’s right for our ministry as we comb through so many options. The more we’re open to conversations about best practices and resources, I would like to think the better we can minister together!
4. Youth Leader as a Neighbor
by Phil Starr
A program-driven youth leader who is working with volunteers and teams of volunteers to pull off large group experiences, social activities, conferences, etc. may perhaps tend to reduce people to a sprocket or gear in the machine of ministry. Becoming program-driven over people-driven steers leaders to first respond to attendance, quality, and atmosphere rather than being a neighbor to the volunteers. I must remind myself daily of my call to be a pastor to my volunteers. It isn’t enough for me to serve with my volunteers. I must capture the ability to notice the needs and desires of my volunteers. I must practice the discipline of responding to those needs and desires with care and selflessness. This doesn’t come easily in my busy and attention-challenged world.
5. A Posture of Learning & Intergenerational Ministry
by Keegan Lenker
So often we can assume we are intergenerational because we have people of all ages going to the same place. The difference between a multigenerational context and an intergenerational one has to do with life interaction. We have many church communities that have lots of ages represented but do not share life together. How would you answer that in your context? When you use the term “intergenerational” in your church community, what do you understand that to mean? What is it you want people to understand about that terminology? Asking how people understand that can greatly help you learn whether you are getting across your intent.