Secrets To A Successful Youth Ministry: Secret #5 Minister To The Whole Church

I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way. These “secrets” I am sharing with you were secrets to me at the time I discovered them and required a generous amount of butt kicking for me to embrace them.

Somehow I got it in my head that my job was to be just the Youth Pastor. I told myself that I have a limited amount of responsibilities and if something that came around that was not in my portfolio I could ignore it. Maybe I felt this way because I had heard stories from friends or at conferences about how their time was being abused. They  were being asked to do things that, they felt, were not a part of their job description. In any case, I hunkered in and found ways to be busy when tasks were at hand that did not directly involve youth ministry. One day I heard a story that changed the way I thought about my role.

I worked with a lady named Barb at the camp I received Christ at, Life For Youth Camp. She was a feisty lady. The camp had a small staff and no one could hide from their responsibilities. After someone on our staff once said, “it’s not mu job” Barb shared a story about her time working at American Express. “Many of my fellow workers seemed to have the attitude of “It’s not my job” and voiced it frequently. The company must have noticed  because they implemented name badges for employees that said ” It is my job”. No longer could an employee say, “It’s not my job.””

Age, experience, failure, and host of other factors, including the above story, impacted my change heart. Every person in our church is worthy of my time. From children to seniors and everyone in between. So, every day, I mentally put on my little badge and say “it’s my job”

It’s my job:

  • To do hospital visits because it’s an opportunity to grow.
  • If kids ministry need my help, I’m there
  • I volunteer to go to Senior Luncheons and take picture and post them on Facebook.
  • To unplug a toilet.

I still focus on my main duties of youth pastor and I guard agains those who would abuse my time, but I am content with showing up every day and saying, “This is my job” even if it’s not in my job description. I believe, and have experienced, that if I invest in the whole church and not just in my area, God will see that the youth ministry I am over will be successful.

What is your biggest struggle in stepping out of the Youth Ministry Zone to help the rest of the church?

What has been your greatest reward for stepping out of your “normal responsibilities” to help in ministries other than your own?

You can start from the beginning of this series by clicking HERE

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Secrets To A Successful Youth Ministry #6 Experiment Often

 

 

Secrets To A Successful Youth Ministry: Secret #4 Community Building

Reaching the lost is important but so is reaching the church kid. We don’t always think this way but church kids have as much need to be reached as the lost. Both kids are in isolated worlds. There have been times where having a single focus on reaching the lost put me at odds with our church kids. They must have thought, “Doesn’t he care about us too?”.

This revelation prompted me to change my priorities, or at least balance them. If I gave it a number, I committed 70% of my time to feeding, training, and fellowshipping with our church kids and 30% to integrating the need for us t reach the lost. The more my kids felt like they belonged and were connected, the more they are were willing to step out together.

We had a Duck Dynasty night one night and we had contests, prizes, and food, etc. but it was not an outreach; it was just to build up our community of believers. It was a new way of thinking from my other churches that had focused on the “reaching the lost at any cost” strategy and my attention to community building paid off.

My definition of a community building strategy is to create events where students and volunteers gather with the intention of having fun, hanging loose and connecting in a structured or unstructured way with no pressure of inviting anyone else (They can, but that is not the goal) .

The purpose of a community night is that our church kids grow with each other, strengthen each other, etc. and find comfort in being a church family.

Three Reasons Why  Community Time Is Critical 

 1. Youth Groups Need “No Pressure” Time Together

Our students need time together where I have not asked them to do or bring anything but themselves. They already feel the pressure to perform at home or school and I don’t want them to feel like church is a place they should perform as well. Even for outreaches, I try not to put too much pressure on kids to perform and “invite all your friends”. I try to encourage empathy and relationship in their evangelism rather than a snatch and grab lifestyle.

Too many times I was asking students to perform on my behalf, so I could get x amount of kids so I could tell my Pastor, etc. I am only now getting comfortable not performing myself and I don’t want our kids to fall into the “performance trap”

Of course, we can fall into two extremes, never asking kids to bring anyone unintentionally de-emphasizes The Great Commission and over emphasizing The Great Commandment. It’ not either or, it’s both. Bother are hard and both must be encouraged to be be lived out, not through pressure but through encouragement.

2. It Gives Us A Break From Intensity

Believe it or not, fun is not a word I use to describe myself and I’m trying to change that. I get after it pretty hard in the preaching and teaching category. I used to think the word intense was a good word to describe me, it means “extremely earnest”, but it also means “extreme force”. Intensity is good for some situations but it’s hard to keep a pace like that in ministry and I don’t want my youth meetings (or our kids) to be described like that either. Community nights give me a chance to breath, relax, and be myself

3. It Builds Internal Identity

Community nights let our church kids be kids and lets us build relationships and memories they would not otherwise have if the focus was completely on the lost. At our Duck Dynasty night I watched kids interact with each other that I had not seen interact before and it was pretty cool.

My kids need this internal time because I want them to trust each other, love each other, and develop life long friendships with each other. I want kids who do not know Christ to have this kind of life changing community to grow in once they come to know Christ but if it doesn’t exist when they get there, they’ll fall out of community as surely as they fell into it.

At the end of every Duck Dynasty show, the family gathers around the table, prays, eats, talks and laughs (even if some of it is staged) but we followed suit with our kids, We had set up a family style eating area where you actually had to use your manners and pass food to each other. I told them, “You’ll
never know when you might need the person on your right, left or across from you. That’s why we need to get to know each other.”  What ensued was 30 minuted of laughter, fun, and an internal bonding that strengthened our group for when difficult times arise.

Let’s not be so focused on reaching lost kids otherwise we’ll lose the kids who have already been found.

What events do you intentionally do to build an internal identity with your youth group?

How have these events made your youth ministry stronger as a whole?

 

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Click HERE to move on to Secret #5  Serve The Whole Body 

 

Secrets To A Successful Youth Ministry: Secret # 3 Develop An Outreach Strategy


 Before you dive into the rest of this post, keep in ind that these are MY secrets. This post is part reflection and part “here’s a tip if you can use it.”

Onward

Outreach is in my blood. I have been evangelistic, from a youth ministry point of view, my whole career. Before I was a full time youth pastor I had done my fait share of street evangelism. I have shared Christ during Mardi Gra., on the Orlando OBT strip, and on the streets of Phoenix when I was in Masters Commission. I don’t look for confrontation but I don’t mind it either if it results in clearing up misunderstandings about Jesus or His church.

Because I had done a fair amount of faith sharing, I assumed whatever church I worked at would welcome those who did not know Christ. Boy was I wrong. I  believed churches were hospitals for the sick and discovered some of them were  fortresses where parents protected their kids from those “other kids”.  Most of my struggles in youth ministry came about with Pastors, parents, and students because of my love of the lost and my desire for us to BE the church (can I get an Amen!). It was those struggles that forced me to consider creating an outreach strategy.

Secret # 3 Develop An Outreach Strategy

1. Don’t Assume Your Strategy Is Wanted

My greatest and worst assumption I’ve made in youth ministry is that a group WANTS to grow. More than once I have imposed my will upon a group assuming it was “our “collective will to reach the lost. In one youth group I served, when the attendance at an event faltered or when I could not get parents or church on board, the lights came on, over half the kids I had in my group were home schooled. It’s not that they did not want to reach out, they couldn’t. I was blaming them for something that was not their fault. Lay aside your assumptions and listen to the rhythms of your group and plan your outreaches accordingly.

2. Have a Seasonal Strategy

Outreach, as a program model, is very tiring. I did not know about having seasons of minisrty, I just went wide open all the time. The build up for  to every week was exhausting and the expectations for every week were draining. I had to realize, as Ecclesiastes says, there is a season for everything under heaven. My outreach driven mindset was killing my kids and my volunteers. My group needed rest, recharging, and a time to reflect. If we did add kids they just got folded in with the outreach blob that just kept rolling without a slow-down time to learn why were doing outreach in the first place.

3. Integration Strategy 

There was much fuss in the New Testament among Jews and converted Gentiles. Peter, the Lord’s own disciple,  did not want to even be seen eating with them.  This struggle goes back to assuming. I assumed kids in our group wanted to reach out, build relationships,and make disciples but it became clear that I had crossed some lines by bringing in these “interlopers”, these “people” messing up our group.

Although the mindset and attitude of some of my previous students were wrong (I am pretty sure they inherited it from their parents), I was wrong for trying to force something on the them that they were not prepared in advance to do or be.

 Consider these questions as you formulate an outreach strategy.

What assumptions are you making about your groups attitude towards outreach?

How will new kids or new converts fit with your group?

Do you have an outreach season and a discipleship season?

Have you taught your students how to welcome in new kids? New converts?

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Click HERE to move on to Secret # 4 Building A Community Strategy

Secrets To Successful Youth Ministry: Secret #2 Know Your Role

When I first took a role in youth ministry, I really did think everything was my job. To often I worked beyond my job description to meet some unmet need.  I stepped over lines and assumed roles that were never mine to take. I had no boundaries. If the youth ministry was going to be successful I had to release certain faux roles and embrace the role God had called me to and gifted me for.

I came to the conclusion that I have only two roles when it comes to Youth Ministry.

1. Create and atmosphere to know God. 

This is my highest priority. My best work is done when I put the time and energy into the one thing I am truly responsible for: The mid-week meeting. That meeting is the one place I can make the most difference for the most people. If I fail at connecting kids to God, all I do is put more stress on myself to make change happen and I can’t change anyone. When I accept the role of creating an atmosphere where we can all connect with God, I limit the amount of work and worry I create for myself.

2. Create opportunities to serve God 

Once a kid has been connected to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want that kid serving not sitting. The longer it takes for me to to get that student serving, the more likely their faith will not take flight. I work from the inside out.

I ask kids to take roles and responsibilities inside the youth ministry because it’s theirs for the next six years and  I only know a handful of youth workers who make it that far. I want to set kids up to succeed beyond any tenure I may have. After the inside responsibilities of the midweek program, I challenge kids to go further through local missions and eventually foreign missions.

I know what your thinking, “I don’t have that luxury to focus on only two things.” I understand, I don’t either, but, I organize my life, my time, and my energy around those two things. I know we all still have to do hospital visits, staff meetings, and the occasional toilet plunging not including home responsibilities and a personal life. That’s why I have to be doggedly determined  and disciplined (that’s a lot of D’s). It a long term commitment that has paid off for me.

What do you see as your primary roles as a youth pastor?

Can you narrow it down to just two things? One thing?

How’s your focus and discipline? What do you have to let go of that’s getting in the way of the one or two things you must do to have a successful youth ministry?

 

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Click HERE to move to Secret # 3: Developing an Outreach Strategy

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My 7 Secrets To A Successful Youth Ministry

I have been ministering to teenagers for over 25 years now, and my wife and I have led several successful youth ministries over the years. Over the next few days I want to share the seven “secrets” that made our youth ministries so successful.

The obvious reason for our success, and cannot be overstated, is God’s grace and love and the power of the Holy Spirit. I have no man made way of helping you create God’s church, it is His work alone and His journey with you; but God has taught me a thing or two on the process of navigating various kinds of groups to “success”. So, no matter where you are in the process of your ministry career, or youth ministry, it’s never too late to start the journey to success.

Secret #1 Determine What Success Is

If I asked you if you had a successful youth ministry, what would you say?

  • We have X amount of kids
  • We fulfill our churches purpose (s)
  • We have well attended small groups
  • We have a great worship band and worship experiences.
  • We have 50% of our kids serve once a quarter

No matter what your answer is, you are correct because that is how you are measuring success. My first “secret” to creating a successful youth ministry is knowing what success is. If you don’t have metrics in place that communicate whether you’re successful or not; start to prayerfully consider what those metrics are.

The New Testament (the whole Bible) is the church’s spiritual metric and cannot be replaced, but there are principles of success that will help you whether you are just starting out or you’re hitting the reset button.

Here are the two metrics I have used in all my youth ministries

1. How many kids know who they are in Christ (If they know Christ)

If kids know who they are in Christ, they can be effective  leaders and servants in God’s Kingdoms. I teach it, preach it, and live it. It permeates the culture of the group. Teaching this is not always easy when you start out.  Kids want one thing and you want another. I stayed the course in the first year, let the shake our happen (if there is any, and there has been some), and then we moved forward.

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2. How opportunities  of service can I create to  help kids find their place in the Body of Christ

I had a magnetic board in our youth room called the Endeavor Board. It showed me how many people were serving, on a weekly basis, to make the youth meeting  happen. The Endeavor Board was just one metric, it told me who was “getting it” and what I need to do to get more people involved.

We performed  a drama in our church. We had 10 kids participate and many of those kids do not use the magnetic board on a weekly basis, but this is how they are wanting to serve. Drama in their wheelhouse and their using their gifts.

I had a kid tell me he wanted to lead a Heavy Metal Bible Study based on Christian Metal songs. He only had one kid show up, but he owned it. I helped him design invites, he handed them out in school, and then he lead the group. To me, that’s success.

In the end, it’s about discipleship. The following of Jesus. And disciples are made over the long haul. Success is a long journey that never ends. Here’s to your success and God’s glory.

What is your definition of a successful youth ministry?

What metrics (measurements) do you use that tell you whether you are successful?

Click HERE to go to Secret # 2: Know Your Role

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Getting Past “We Can’t Have Worship, We Don’t Have A Band” Part I

 

CDorBand

I have had a worship band, of some kind, in every youth ministry I have served. I did not say they were all good worship bands, but they were bands. Some were better than others. None were worse, or more fun, than the band I led at a small church in Panama City.

I had taken guitar lessons as a teen and then taught myself all the basic chords and strums. I went thought chord books and played every chord in it whether I would ever use it or not. I put together a rag tag group of guys who were all just learning how to play an instrument. We were pretty bad, but you know what? It was worship. It was worship because our hearts were in it and we wanted to lead other to God through it.

Fast forward to today. I was reading some posts on our denom’s FB page and I found where one of our youth pastors was asking about worship and wether we should use a cd or videos. I could totally relate to his frustration because we are in a similar place. Some times your talent pool just graduates, moves on, or “takes a break”, which is fine but it still puts youth pastors in the position of selling a “new idea” of worship to our youth ministries.

If you have had good bands in the past, it’s harder to say (sell the idea of) “We’re going to play some cd’s tonight” or “We’re going to worship along with some videos for a season.” We Pentecostal folks love our lives bands. We love them because they entertain us and sometimes excuse us from entering worship ourselves because some one is doing it for us. But our DYD, Steve Mason, made a great point about using CD’s and videos

Honestly I think having a cd playing can be more effective than a worship band at times. I have a really good bands through the years but have let them take a break at times and used CDs to keep emphasis on what is important…Worshipping Jesus.

Why use CDs?

They are always in tune.

They never give attitude or pre-madonnas.

They are never late.

They sing the song perfect and

You know what you’re getting.

Students need to learn to focus on worshiping Jesus not the people on the stage. Create a culture and set a tone as the leader that says we are purposely and intentionally using CDs instead of “we have to do this”. – sharing “this is why we do this”.. At the beginning will help.

Wise words. It’s time we stopped feeling bad about how we worship and start feeling good about the why we worship. We have a God who loves us, saved us, and leads us to victory and wether we use cd’s, videos, or a live ban, God is worthy of our worship. God will never be insulted by our methods of worship, but he’s always been insulted by our attitude towards worship. Does Cain ring a bell?

I have been working on my own situation for the past 3 months and I’ll share what I have been trying to do tomorrow.

Tell me, do you worship to a live band? CD’s? Videos?

What do you do with a group who is committed to only one method of worship?

What have you done to turn attitudes around about your methods of worship?

Want more ideas? Check out my Three Part Series on Worshiping Without A Band

 

 

Do I Need A Mentor or A Coach?

Have you been asking, “Do I need a ministry mentor or a coach?” I have been in full time  ministry for 25 years and I still ask that question. I am working through the process for myself and thought I’d pass on what I am learning.

What’s the difference between a mentor and coach? I think a mentor is someone who  who is committed, long term to helping people get the bet out of the their life. A coach, on the other hand, looks at what you’re “putting on the field”, the x;s and o’s,  and offers an opinion about whether our goals and our plan/strategy match up. Essentially, I think mentors work inside out and a coach works outside in.

One way I determine if I need a mentor or a coach is to listen to my own whining. Yes, our sighs, groaning, and questions can tell us what we need,

Mentor Type Questions

1. Why do I feel so directionless?

2. Why aren’t my goals making me happy?

3. What do I do in this situation?

4. What do I do with this failure?

5. Who will walk with me through this thing?

Mentoring is a two way street. We have to risk something to have a mentoring relationship. We have to be honest about where we are in life. If we’re saying that “no one will mentor me”  it might be because we don’t want a mentor, we just want someone to fix us.

Coaching Type Questions

1. How do I set up my small groups?

2. Where do I reach teens?

3. When should I plan my outreach?

4. Why should I do small groups instead of large weekly meetings?

Coaching is about mechanics. There may be some mentoring involved in your coaching but it’s mostly about technique, like a quarterback coach working on the three step drop or how to slide out of the pocket so you don’t get crushed by a linebacker.

In the end, there’s some coaching in mentoring and some mentoring in coaching. The questions becomes. “Which of these do I need in my life right now?” and “Where can I find one?”

We’ll discuss this more in my week long focus on mentoring and coaching.

Which of these roles do you think you need  in your life right now?

What are the questions you have been whining about asking yourself?

If you are needing a ministry mentor/coach, I can put my 25 plus years in youth ministry to work for you. Check out my deal here

Click HERE for the next post in this series: Do Senior Pastors Make The Best Mentors?

 

 

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Tips For Volunteer Training: Thinking Inside The Board Game Box

boardgame

 

I  read an article the other day called “How To Teach Someone A Board Game“. It is a simple, short article; but I think if we borrowed the tips from this article we could teach our ministry volunteers faster, with less mistakes, and with a win for everyone in the end.

 Make Sure _________________________ Is Set Up Before You Start

Whatever I am going to teach (a hobby, a sport, etc.), I have a model, the equipment, etc.  ready so the person I am teaching can get their hands dirty with it. I think teaching ministry principles should be the same way. When I am teaching our volunteers I try to make sure everyone has the right equipment, the handbook, the technology, the map, whatever they need to be successful. Having what they need, when they need it, cuts down on wasted time, energy, and frustration.

Start With How To Win

If I’ve missed any  step in teaching/training process, I think it is defining the win off the bat. I may include it in my talk but defining the win early gets people think about the reward and the process of how they could do what I have asked them to do. I have worked in many churches and if they had told me what the win was (numbers, number of salvations, number of disciples in process, etc) it would have saved a ton of time and I may possibly have turned down some jobs if they could not articulate what winning was.

Walk The New Players Through a Typical Turn (and Round, if Necessary)

If we are teaching someone chess we have to teach how each of the pieces move, what is a check, and what is check mate. Details matter. I don’t think I spend enough time succinctly explaining how something works especially if it has a lot of moving parts. I can get wordy and enamored with the process instead of doing a proper walk through.

I was recently training some young adults to do middle school ministry and I shared how we will take the kids up stairs so I took them upstairs, I showed them how the room would be set up, etc. I had one young man who was supposed to lead the lesson that night and I i thought I had explained well enough how he should do it. He shared one verse of scripture and he was done. No kidding. Next time I will let him do the lesson with just me first and walk him through it.

PLAY

It’s simple. The more you play something the better, or least the more familiar, you become with it. My son and I play a rules heavy game called Warahammer (the rule book is huge) and I don’t play it enough to be any good at it because I keep forgetting the rules. If I want my youth ministry volunteers to be any good at anything I have to let them play it enough to get good at it.

Just like playing a game with missing pieces is no fun, trying to do the ministry asked of you with missing instructions or tools is no fun either. Let’s try lightening the load and focus on a process that empowers instead of frustrates.

Would you say your method of teaching someone  to do something in your youth ministry is simple? Too complicated?

Think through the process you go through to teach a

– Sunday School teacher

– Youth Leader

– An intern

– A new staff member

– a small group leader

How to fulfill their role. Have you told them what the win is? Have you showed them how to achieve the win?

Tell me, do any of your processes need  a little streamlining? Which ones?

Let me know what you think about board game style training in the comments below or if you need help in training your team, I can help.

Why I Love Doing You Tube Videos For Youth Workers

 

 YouTubelogo

If you have never seen any of my You Tube videos let me share what they are about. I have 4 Playlists on my YouTube Channel.

Real Time Training: Tips and Tricks For Youth Workers – When I get an idea or think about principle that may help you, I do a quick video and pass it on to you.

More Than A Youth Room: Designing Your Space On Purpose – Does your youth room need some help? Grabs some ideas from 9 video focusing on youth room elements.

The Tuesday Panic: Ideas For The Less Than Prepared Youth Worker – Over two hours hours of videos offering ideas for sermons, bible studies, game idea, and message illustrations.

Off The Shelf: Reviews and Interviews About Youth Ministry Resources – This channel is focused on bringing youth workers interviews with ministries that could add value to your youth ministry and my thoughts on resources I think are worth using. Close to three hours of interviews with authors, ministry founders, and resource reviews.

Check out a few video and if you like them hit the thumbs up button and then hit the subscribe button so you’ll know when I post a new video.

If you are wondering why I put so much time and effort into these videos, let me start by tell you why I don’t create You Tube videos for youth workers

1. I’m uber-good looking and I want everyone to know it.

2. I have tons of time to waste.

3. I enjoy all the comments, likes, and accolades.

I am obviously not doing it for any of these reasons, so why then?

1. I love to communicate new thoughts, ideas, and strategies to youth workers who can’t get it any other way. 

I don’t know how many youth workers are in Merica’ (that’s America for you who have not seen this video or know the definition) or the rest of the world for that matter,  but my guess is there are a bunch or youth workers who cannot get to a youth conference but still want some training. If a youth worker can easily access a video on their computer or phone and can walk away with one good idea during their busy day, good for them.

2. I enjoy the creative outlet.

I never want to become stale in my knowledge of technology or in my creative endeavors so You Tube offer me the chance to grow in both.

3. It helps me in my communication skills

You may not know this but I used to do radio back in the day. I co-hosted a show called The Saturday  Night House party for six months where we show cased new Christian music in the 90’s. I enjoyed the experience quite a bit but the show was short lived. Let’s just say we were ahead of our time.

If I have a subject and a time limit, I have to cut to the quick and get to the point. Youth workers, of all kinds, are busy people and I want to make the few minutes they do have for training short, simple, stout with tips and information.

How about you, do you look for youth worker training from You Tube?

What videos have you found that have helped equip you for youth ministry/ministering to teens?

5 Strategies For Following Up After Summer Spiritual Commitments

I am passionate about following up after kids make spiritual commitments. If a kid is inwardly compelled to go to an altar and commit his or her life to Christ, then I must be inwardly compelled to follow up after them to help them in their journey.

I understand that parents play the key role with their kids discipleship. Parents struggle to wear many hats from taxi driver to den mother to band booster. Chief discipler is a hat that, too often, falls to the back of the closet. Parents are in that unique role of managing family relationships and making family work. It’s a tough job and sometimes discipleship, in the formal sense of kids being students of the Word, is not a skill set many parents feel equipped to do. Rather than make parents feel guilty that they cannot get it all done (which they already feel) let’s lend a hand in an area we should be adept at.

Even though we only see a kid for two hours a week we still have some tools a parent does not have. We know how to take a kid from point A to point B as far as spiritual steps go, but we , like National Treasure, only have a piece of a map that can lead to a treasure of spiritual growth.

Follow up is crucial to spiritual growth. Attitudes towards follow up ranges from, “Well God will just do it.” to “I have 30 classes you need to attend in order to be a good follower of Jesus.”. I think there is a middle ground we can meet on.

If your kids have made some new commitments to Christ this summer, and I pray they have, I’d like to offer five follow up strategies you can use to help your students get the best start in keeping their commitments.

1. Make a Video

I just preached a camp down in Florida and a kid, who watched this video, told me afterwards that he never has a strategy after camp. His comment further deepened my commitment to help kids in the growth process. I won’t see these kids until next summer and this video is something they can go back to to refresh there memory about what they need to do to grow.

2. Written Material

In addition to the video, I wrote a five day follow up devotion they can download. I cannot make them do it, but the fact that they may not do it cannot dissuade me from providing it. I must give them a choice.

Whether you choose a book or choose to write your own material, offer your kids some kind of physical tool to help them set a course for spiritual growth. These kinds of resources are for kids who like to read, write, and like to see some physical path they can make progress on. Completing these kinds of tools also gives kids a boost of confidence.

Here are a few things I have written for our kids that may help your kids

God? What’s Your Status?: A 21 day Journal Through The Gospel Of John 

St Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer Journal

 

3. Face to Face

Schedule a lunch with these kids one on one or in groups of 2-3. Take them to a meal and ask them about how their commitments are going and ask how you can help support them.

4. Assign A Mentor or Accountability Partner

Communicate to kids that if they make a commitment to Christ, you are going to support them. This support may come in the form of a prayer partner or a weekly contact over a certain amount of weeks. I understand that anonymity is a directions many kids will want to take but we must be careful to remind them that spiritual growth does not happen in a vacuum. We need others to grow. We need others experience, knowledge, and passion, to help us along.

5. Text kids weekly scriptures

Put all the kids who made commitment this summer in a list and text them a scripture and a short encouragement. The amount of information consumed is not equal to the depth of spiritual growth. You don’t have to dump a ton of info on them. A short text communicates that you care and that you are praying for them. That may all they need to take the next step in their walk with Christ.

Bonus

Host a 30 Days after Camp Reunion. Put it on the calendar to meet with just the kids who went to camp and have a service with them. Let them share where they are spiritually 30 days later. Let them reflect on the camp, the worship, the speaker, and the kind of commitment they made.

Set up the service by playing a game or two you played at camp followed by a few worship songs you sang at camp. I have a 30 Days After Camp Teaching if you would like to use it. You can e-mail me at thedproject@me.com and I will mail you a copy. You can grab a few more ideas in this video I created

One more bonus step: Offer parents tools to do the follow up at home. Check out my post on 7 Questions Parents Should Ask Their Kids After Camp

How do you follow up when kids make a commitment to Christ or to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord?

What is your process like?

What frustrates you most in the follow up process?

Tell me in the comments below.

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