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My Response To Brian Aaby’s 5 Questions About Youth Ministry

2 · 04 · 15


Brian Aaby wrote  post challenging youth workers to answer five questions about their youth ministry. Most of the time I see questions like these and I give them a passing glance and move on, but not today. Today I thought I’d pick up the five question gauntlet he threw down and answer, to the best of my ability, the questions he has posed.

1. If I were on medical leave for two months, what would happen to the ministry?

My hope is that it would survive and even thrive. I talk a lot and train a lot about leadership and student leadership in particular. I think both my adult and students would rise to the challenge but unless I am in a coma the texts would be flying.

2. If the way I modeled peer outreach (how I reach out to the unchurched in my age bracket) were the only example students were following, what would the student ministry look like?

Well, it’s tough for the students to see me model outreach to my peers because I am old (46) and they don’t run in my circles but if they watch my Facebook posts they’l see what I post and ho I engage with those who may not know Christ or who have a nominal faith. I would suspect that more kids would be using their social media as a platform for their faith and to just a place to post cat photos.

3. If I could not repeat a single camp, retreat, mission or event from 2014 what would we do differently in 2015?

E very year we really do try to switch it up. In this season (spring 2015) we are doing small groups on our midweek meeting. If we did not go to our camps we might do more fellowship things like white water rafting, go to music festivals, maybe go camping more.

4. If I could not use electronic/social media in 2015, how could the ministry improve?

There would be more face to face meetings and I’d have to actually call kids and tell them meet me somewhere. I would have to visit their homes more and take advantage of the times when they are present. If our relationships improve then ministry would improve but it may just improve slower.

5. If I were not allowed to publicly teach (preach, give the “talk,” etc.) or lead the Bible Study, but could disciple those students, leaders and parents who were, what would the ministry look like in 2015?

This is a great question for me this year. I had two girls come to me in November asking if they could lead a small group High School bible study which caused me re-think my midweek programming. In our fall schedule we introduced small groups as a once a month event. I would preach three weeks and have a small group night once a month. This spring I have flipped this to where small groups meet three times a month and I speak once a month. You can read about my small group journey through my Lead Small Book Club posts here and here.

After taking the past two month to equip and train students to lead a small group I have not even scratched the service. I am reverse engineering the process by doing the small groups and then training as we go. I am helping my team understand the value of small groups and making them a step in the spiritual process versus making them another program. In the fall we’ll flip back to the 3-1 preaching model but on the night we do small groups it will also act as a training ground for new small group leaders.

Those are my answers to these five questions now it’s your turn.

Your Turn 

Take one question and answer it below.

Which question is hardest/easiest for you to  answer?

What questions are you asking about your youth ministry that you can’t seem to wrap your head around? Maybe you need a youth ministry mentor. Check out my coaching program here.

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