I’ve been busy lately. Between traveling a lot and catching up from traveling a lot I’ve missed many important details.
On Tuesday afternoon guys from my high school small group started texting me, “What are we doing tomorrow night?” Then I got text from my co-leaders, “What are we doing tomorrow night?”
I kept thinking to myself, “What are they talking about? We’re going to meet at the church, play some volleyball, eat dinner, and have small groups.”
So I looked at my texts from Brian and it turns out that, and I still don’t know why, last night our small groups did outings instead of the normal routine.
Cool. So I need a plan. And I’ve got no plan.
Ah Creativity. You Ruse.
I totally identified with this talk. Creating + efficiency aren’t always best friends. I’m surprised that in my own process sometimes things come quickly while other times they tend to drag on forever.
I know enough to know when I need to refer.
That’s my standard line when dealing with psychological issues in youth ministry. As simple as that sounds it’s probably a line that has served me well over the years. I am quick to listen, assess, and refer when something is beyond my reach.
My desire to do no harm leads me to a referral.
Over the years I’ve gotten to know several therapists, counselors, and guidance counselors who consider their life’s work a ministry. They pour into teenagers and every day their client schedule is packed with adolescents. (And parents of adolescents.)
These are absolutely youth workers.
“Our church can’t get access to that school. It’s closed to the church.”
I’ve heard this phrase my entire career in youth ministry. In a lot of youth worker networks it’s a phrase you say at a network meeting which gets an instant nod of agreement. But it’s never actually been true on two counts.
- There’s not a single school on the planet completely closed to volunteers. But there are lots of high schools closed to any outside agenda. The answer to #1, access, is partnership.
- I know too many teachers who have made their teaching position their ministry. There are thousands upon thousands of Christian teachers serving in every type of school you can imagine.
Christians who are teachers, who consider their work “on mission” ministering to the holistic needs of adolescents, are absolutely youth workers in every way.
The hypothesis of the study –– that adolescents make finer distinctions between levels of risk and reward than adults do –– contradicts much conventional knowledge about young people and risk taking, according to Reyna.
Those Risky Teenagers
“I’ve got a challenge for you. My theory is that those who are really dedicated to following Jesus, those who take some risks for their faith, will be rewarded. I can’t promise you what that reward will be, but I’ve learned that God will meet me there when I take a risk for Him.”
She heard her youth pastor say that. And she needed it to be true. What he didn’t know that night was just how on-the-fence she’d become about the whole “Jesus thing“– as her friends called it. Youth group had become a place to see her friends. But in this small town you see your friends at lunch just as much as you see them at youth group. Plus, the repetition of games and songs and a Bible teaching was getting on her nerves. She likes it all, sure, but it’s pretty much the same thing every Wednesday night for the past 4 years. She’s growing up and everything in her world is maturing, eating baby food while blind-folded just doesn’t feel as grown up as it did in seventh grade.
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
The Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit smashed some guys in my small group last night. It took my breath away.
My co-leader and I spent an hour pushing through Romans 6 phrase-by-phrase, defining all the words and concepts, drawing out what that meant to first century readers, making principled comparisons to today. It was exhausting… and while the guys participated and were inquisitive I was concerned that it wasn’t sinking in. It felt more like an English class than a small group.