Growing a Youth Ministry That Looks Like Your Church

Originally published August 15, 2009.

This title may sound like a “duh” but hang with me a bit.

I know no one intentionally grows the youth ministry to be separate from the church but this has become a problem in youth ministry.  Much has been written about the problems of age-segregated programming in church life.  I don’t need to rehash that here.  Anyone who has read a youth ministry blog is well aware of this without having to read more about it.  Growing a youth ministry that looks like your church is more than that problem of separation.  The problem is having a passion-filled youth ministry that is one way and the church family operating in a different passion.  For example if your youth ministry is an outreach youth ministry, your church needs to also be an outreach church.  The entire church family is needed to be supporting those teens who are coming in.  The support has to come from more than just the youth group wing.

The first thing to correct this separation or continue the course you are on is to find out why you were hired or nominated?  Do you know why the committee or pastoral staff thought you were a fit for this particular church family?  There was something about you that the church wanted.

Is the Generation Gap Gone?

Originally published August 15, 2010.

Times-are-a-changing.  Experts are declaring that the generation gap is gone.

Wikipedia defines the generation gap as “the differences between people of a younger generation and their elders, especially between a child and their parent’s generation.  Although some generational differences have existed throughout history, because of more rapid cultural change during the modern era differences between the two generations increased in comparison to previous times, particularly with respect to such matters as musical tastes, fashion, culture and politics.  …This was coined during the 1960s as the generation gap became so prominent most likely due to the unprecedented size of the young generation during the 1960s which gave it unprecedented power and willingness to rebel against societal norms.”

The Three Families It Takes to Raise Teens

Originally published November 15, 2010.

Currently many resources and articles are being written to support the correct ministry thinking of the power of parents in youth ministry.  I am seeing it in nearly every e-newsletter, book, and magazine which gets published.  This is a very good thing from our viewpoint as it has been one of Wild Frontier’s core youth ministry beliefs for over ten years.  (Wish it was a part of those beliefs for all of our 20-year existence but I still thought myself too central to youth ministry in the beginning.  Read more)

The more I practice youth ministry at my church, the more I see the positive results of including parents in the youth ministry.  That is not all though.  I’ve also intentionally included the entire church family in the youth ministry and that is garnering even more positive results.