*Disclaimer-I’m just saying I’m ready for this ministry to go into a different direction. Yes I still am the one responsible to this ministry.*
The Youth Ministry that I lead has suffered some setbacks the past few months. Our numbers have dwindled dramatically.
I take the responsibility. The ministry is my responsibility at the end of the day and if it has failed or is failing, at the end of the day, that is my fault. Of course, there are small group leaders who facilitate the groups, but if I don’t adequately supply them with the resources/training they need, there is only one person to blame for the drop in attendance.
So, I’ve made a decision. I don’t want to be called Youth Pastor anymore. I don’t want that to be my title. I don’t want this ministry to have a youth pastor.
The term youth pastor infers that during the “Big Event” of the week that after worship you hear this person speak for a half hour. The term youth pastor infers you have a master teacher with a large group of students. I thought this was the way youth ministry had to be done… Or at least that’s what my hubris was telling me. This is the way I have always seen youth ministry done and I had this fantasy that doing youth ministry with that model in place would be super easy. It isn’t. And, by the way, if your goal is for your ministry to be easy, I hope you aren’t brought down hard like I was this week…. Because I was.
And I had to tell one of the guys that helps in this ministry, “I’ve let my ego go in hopes that we can see this youth ministry prosper.” And I have. And I do hope that the group of leaders this ministry has in place will see this ministry prosper.
I’m a 22 year old male who was given the full reign to a youth ministry at a good sized church. I let my ego come in and I was under the impression that it all had to be about me.
The teenagers saw the problem long before I did and called me out on it. I did my best to look perfect in their eyes and I was far from it… And they saw straight through me. And they called me out on it. So I’ve told you the problem and how it manifested itself in the ministry at my church….
So you’re welcome to ask me now, “What’s the solution Terry?”
I don’t know for sure what the solution is, but I know what we at Journey are going to do and we’ll see if it works. I think it will.
I am going to start introducing myself as Youth Ministry Facilitator. The term facilitator is defined as a “person responsible for coordinating the work of a group.” I don’t want to just be the guy who “teaches” the youth at my church. I want to be a part of the ministry that motivates the youth at my church to be a vital part of the organizations they participate in, whether those organizations be their schools, their part-time jobs or their sports teams. I don’t want people to look at the youth from Journey as some other kid who goes to some other church. I want the youth from my church as the teenager who is excited about his/her church and is passionate about the Word of God.
Instead of our Big Event looking like one guy preaching/teaching to a group of students, I want our Big Event night to look like multiple conversations happening in small group settings where students are not only hearing the Word, they are discussing the Word.
“That sounds a lot like Sunday School to me Terry.”
It is a lot like Sunday School. No. Wait. It is exactly like the Sunday School you grew up with.
But a lot of youth right now didn’t grow up with Sunday School like we did.
Teenagers are social beings and they rely on social experiences. You cannot put a teenager in a room where they can’t talk, text or communicate and expect positive feedback.
So, we’re going to try the small groups on Wednesday nights after worship. We’re believing this will work and turn around the reputation of our Wednesday nights.
What are your thoughts?
Ever been working in a ministry where you had to do a drastic change?
Did it work for that ministry?
Does your ministry still work on the Master Teacher/Lecture model?
Is it maybe a time for a big change?
Talk to me in comments or reply me on twitter.
Or better yet, write a post of your own on this topic and tweet me the link.