retooling youth ministry

Our congregation is moving towards doing small groups on Sunday night. I am excited about this change and the direction that we are moving in. I feel like this will be a positive thing for our people.

Because of our movement towards small groups, as the Youth Minister I have been making changes in the program to prepare and prep. our teens and their families for this change. Here is a run down of my youth program changes and proposals:

*youth devos on another week. I really struggle with this. See our congregation is involved with LTC, hosts a Bible Bowl, and for 6 months of the year we are focused on those endeavors. Some of my teens and parents have observed before that Sunday becomes a very busy day and devos after church make for a long long day. Yet, another night of the week isn’t a great solution either because our families are stressed out, and busy and now the youth calendar has added one more thing on their plate. But, I have done all of this with the aim of giving Sunday nights back to the family! This change has worked fairly. My teens miss Sunday night devos. I do too!

*student small groups will continue, but under our new plan we will do them once the school year starts up again in the Fall, one Wed. night a month. Our small group leaders will need to give up their adult class for that evening to spend time with their group. We are doing it this way, so that our small groups can meet at whatever time they can and want to on Sunday night. I believe small groups for our students also are a way for them to make healthy adult relationships. If youth ministry is to be successful it must be intergenerational!

*Our LTC and Bible Bowl will continue, and as of right now our plan is to move these things to Wed. night as a part of our Wed. night education, possibly Sun. afternoon for LTC practices depending on what time and where your small groups meet. Hmm, not real sure what to do, but praying for God’s guidance.

*tinkering with the notion of encouraging our students to attend our church small groups with their families. I believe Deut. 6 is foundational for youth ministry and well, teens and parents need to be together doing church things, serving the poor, talking about their faith whenever and wherever they go.

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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