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Monday, June 01, 2009

If I Had a Mulligan in Youth Ministry

Thought this post over on Jesus Creed by Chris Folmsbee was thoughtful, honest, inspiring, and timely. Some really good stuff.

- Act theologically before methodologically
- Be more of a spiritual director than a program director
- Hire a parent to be a part of our youth staff
- Spend more time investing in interns/co-pastors
- Experiment with more learner-centered education models
- Ask less of my volunteers and yet equip them more
- Communicate change to the church leaders, staff and parents more
- Create more opportunities for students to "learn up" instead of me "teaching down"
- Celebrate the successes in the lives of students with greater regularity and intensity
- Worry less about the retreat themes and spend more time with the students on the retreats.
- Take students on way more spiritual retreats
- Work hard to be more collaborative with the youth workers in my city
- Take more time off to be with my wife and kids
- Be more intentional with a confirmation process
- Find time to laugh and play more
- Be more grace-filled with students who were goofing off and causing trouble
- Try to learn more from the staff instead of thinking I have all the answers
- Take the criticism of others more seriously and less defensively
- Meet with my spiritual director more often
- Take personal retreats more often
- Be way more missional and a lot less attractional in my approach or model
- Try and get more pulpit time to advocate for the students in the church and community
- Pray more and develop a team of people to pray with
- Provide inspiring training for the parent of the students
- Call the students to greater levels of holiness
- Spend a lot more time creating opportunities for students to practice justice
- Allow the more artistic students opportunities to express themselves and their love for God.
- Teach much more conversationally
- Try to enter into the joy, pain, loss, doubt, hurt, etc. of the students and their families

Out of this there are few that really challenge me as I look at my run in youth ministry as a pastor and now volunteer: Students/holiness, pray/develop people who pray, personal retreats, opportunities to learn up, worry less about retreat themes, hire a parent, and take criticism more seriously/less defensively (tough one for me)

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