Youth Ministry Leaders or Chaperones?

I can remember going to school dances where chaperones were in attendance. Their job was to make sure there was no kissing, dirty dancing, or smoking in the parking lot. The goal was the  make sure something didn’t happen. Sadly, this is role many youth leaders/volunteers take.

Youth Ministry chaperones make sure no one talks during the message,  that nothing gets broken, and no one dies.

Leaders, on the other hand, have a mission each week to make an impact. Volunteer Leaders see their role as proactive rather than re-active. They make sure something does happen

  • a life giving affirmation
  • a deeper conversation about life
  • a listening ear is offered

My view of leadership says a volunteer should be, over time, influencing the lives of students to walk uprightly, make good decisions, and lean into the gifts and abilities God has given them; all the while making sure no one dies.

It’s not either or, it’s both. We should all be training our volunteers to be active participants who, weekly, makes something happen because it’s hard to measure the spiritual growth of students though inaction.

 

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Jesus Shows Us The Key To Deeper Relationships

Passion is  a surface level emotion that acts like a valve to let off steam. There are terms like “an act of passion” when referring to an affair that just sort of happened or when someone kills someone  due to a” fit of passion”.

Both incidents are  surface level reactions that happen in the moment.  Jesus wasn’t like that. Jesus did not react so much as he responded.; and when he responded, he responded deeply and with conviction.

Jesus lost a friend, Lazarus.

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  John 11:33

Such as Jesus’ response to his friends passing, that John, the author, saw fit to mention Jesus’ response again.

[ Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead ] Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  John 11:38

Jesus was someone who took initiative in his relationships. He invited people into his life rather than waiting to be invited.

He invited fishermen and tax collectors to follow him

He invited Peter to come to Him on the water.

He invited Thomas touch his hands and sides.

He invites all us who are wear and heavy laden to come unto Him.

Jesus lived and open life, inviting all kinds people to be a part of it.

If we want depth in our relationships, we will have to be the initiators.

For all my posting, videos, etc. I am a very private person. I like my world ordered and chaos is not welcome. This is why I, or you, do not like this idea  opening up.

Invitations are not only invites to opportunity but to rejections or worse chaos. Our decision to let someone in, could turn our hold world upside down. Maybe that’s the point, Maybe, in order deepen our lives, a little chaos must come and challenge us.

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… persisting… eloquently expressing the depth of your love. What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life? Tony Robbins

No one is going to do it for us. Our initiative is an expression of our love. We have to move, open up, and invite others into our lives if we want to add depth to our days. An open life is an invitation to new worlds, and yes, a little chaos.

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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.