In the play, SWEAT by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lynn Nottage, change is coming for workers at a steel tubing plant.

That’s tough to do in a town like Reading, where so much pride is tied up in the past. Nottage says whenever she met someone in Reading, she always asked them: How would you describe your city?

“People always said ‘Reading was …’ and no one ever spoke of their city in present tense — NPR

Sounds like a lot for youth ministries around today.

Whether the past was 10 years ago or this past year, you can overcome it.

Pastors will sell you on what the youth ministry was and wants it to return to the glory days. Don’t buy into it. God wants to do a new thing, here’s a few steps in the right direction.

Moving Forward – Overcoming Your Youth Ministry’s Past

Bad Things

– History of Low numbers

– Chaos and Confusion

– Stigma

– Bad Youth Pastors (5 in 3 years)

– Status Quo

Good Things

– Traditions and Programs

– History of Good Numbers

– Great Youth Pastors

– Long Time Leaders

Look for consensus not control – Don’t dismantle everything your first year.

Be patient

If the past is good, honor it. If it’s bad, burn it.

Start building new traditions with your middle school.

Needing Out – Books. Stage, Preaching, and Writing. Suicide Squad

Motivation

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes.

In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to

entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today? – Mary Manin Morrissey

Links

In ‘Sweat,’ Adapting To Change Is The Hardest Work Of All

Moving Messages by Rick Bundschuh

Interrobang Preaching: (re)Discovering the Communication Secrets of Jesus

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