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Advice From Men And Women Who Have Worked With Youth


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I am currently the Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor at my church and working with youth is somewhat new to me (the only experience I've really had was while I was still a teenager, I kinda had biased views then). Any recomendations on things like activity ideas, much needed message topics, and building their trust will be appreciated. The majority of my advice comes from my Pastor but I would also welcome outside opinions. Thanks.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Talk to them, not at them.  Many things that Independent Baptist Churches do, can be taken for granted by the Pastor, Deacons and other leadership, but our kids don't know why we believe the things that we do.  Show them these precepts, in God's Word, teach them why we follow God's Word.  Find great leaders who have been successful in teaching kids, like Paul Chappell, Clarence Sexton, Carey Schmidt and learn from them what they do.  Teach them the basics, Genesis, Creation and prepare them for the world, and what the world will say.  

 

I am far from any expert but there are good ones out there, find them and learn from them.  Our kids are our future what an awesome responsibility. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Do house visits. Let them know that while you are their teacher, they can trust you. You want to develop a healthy relationship not only with the youth, but their parents as well. If the parent doesn't trust you, they will most likely not be inclined to let their child participate in youth activities. When appropriate, get them involved in ministry. Have one of the guys lead a short devotional at one of your activities. Have your wife take the girls and volunteer at the local soup kitchen or hospital. Always encourage them, but don't pressure them, to bring friends to activities and services. On that note, always make sure the Gospel is preached, even if it's at a bowling alley. The kids need to see you as a leader. Be careful not become "friends" with them, if you know what I mean. There needs to be a degree of respect and seperation between adult leader and youth member. There's nothing wrong with developing friendships with them and their family, but you have to be extremely careful that you don't allow any feelings or biases interfere with your position. Trust me, the kids will pick up on that almost instantly! I could say more, but I don't want to overwhelm you and I feel that this is sufficient enough for now. I am the Youth Pastor at my church, and I literally had to build it from the ground up. These are some of the things I learned along the way. Best of luck to you, and God bless!

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Do house visits. Let them know that while you are their teacher, they can trust you. You want to develop a healthy relationship not only with the youth, but their parents as well. If the parent doesn't trust you, they will most likely not be inclined to let their child participate in youth activities. When appropriate, get them involved in ministry. Have one of the guys lead a short devotional at one of your activities. Have your wife take the girls and volunteer at the local soup kitchen or hospital. Always encourage them, but don't pressure them, to bring friends to activities and services. On that note, always make sure the Gospel is preached, even if it's at a bowling alley. The kids need to see you as a leader. Be careful not become "friends" with them, if you know what I mean. There needs to be a degree of respect and seperation between adult leader and youth member. There's nothing wrong with developing friendships with them and their family, but you have to be extremely careful that you don't allow any feelings or biases interfere with your position. Trust me, the kids will pick up on that almost instantly! I could say more, but I don't want to overwhelm you and I feel that this is sufficient enough for now. I am the Youth Pastor at my church, and I literally had to build it from the ground up. These are some of the things I learned along the way. Best of luck to you, and God bless!

Trust me --- you won't overwhelm that boy.

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Old Fashioned is my Dad, so he's a little biased.

 

Thanks for the advice I really appreciate the help.

I'm biased? Isn't that when you cut fabric diagonal in relationship to the weave?

Just remember, you're cut from the same cloth.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hope you don't mind if a woman steps in! :-) I've been planning our youth rally for a few years now and, just in the last year, have kinda become more of an "official" youth worker at our church. (which by the way is so exciting for me as I've always wanted to work with the youth group!) I could probably name off a long list of games we've run through over the years if you're interested! Surprisingly, our youth really enjoy the simple games of dodge ball and Red Light, Green Light. lol But of course we try to only use those for fall back, planning new activities for each time. 

To be honest, as I've just started the serious work, I'm still learning a lot. The "fun" part is the easy part and some of what I've always looked forward to. Now that I've been more in it for a time though it's starting to get more serious and the heaviness of the responsibility sometimes overwhelms me. I want so much to be used of the Lord in these kid's lives. The biggest thing I've tried to do so far is pray for them on a regular basis and to build the relationship with them so that at whatever point the Lord might try to use me that foundation is there. The majority of our teens are bus teens so this can be a hard task. Convincing them that you really care, that you really love them and really want to be a part of their lives is a huge task. A quote that means more to me now than ever is, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care". I think adults sometimes make the mistake of diving in and trying to tell kids everything they ought to be doing (or shouldn't be doing) before establishing any relationship. Kids won't listen to you that way. The ways I've tried to build that relationship/trust is to just squeeze myself inot thier daily life. When their at church, chat with them and not just about why they weren't there last week. Visit them (which someone already said). I'm friends with some of our teens on Facebook so I use that by chatting with them on their just about daily life. Showing concern. Letting them know that you think of them and pray for them. Ugh...I think I'm rambling. lol Sorry. lol

Okay, one more thought. Don't be afraid to have a good time. I think another thing some Christians are afraid of is focusing too much on the fun and therefore they lean too heavily in the other direction. lol While that is obviously not the impact goal we want to have, it can definitely be used as a tool. 

Well, I don't know if any of this was any good but this is a topic that I am so excited about that my thoughts all start running into each other when someone says "teens" lol and I could talk about it for hours. So thanks for letting me join in for a minute. :-P

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