Friday, October 30, 2009

    Youth Ministry Rules Worth Breaking

    Are there youth ministry rules that are meant to be broken?

    The great site Soul Pancake recently posed the question "Are Rules Meant to Be Broken?" The writer of the essay particularly focused on "personal rules." It made we wonder what rules in youth ministry it might be worth breaking once in awhile -- either those rules that have been imposed on us by the "Youth Ministry Community" that says "this is the way it is always done" or those rules we impose on ourselves. Which youth ministry rules do you think it would be worth breaking? Here are a few of mine:

    • Bigger is better. (How about being overjoyed some Sunday night when you walk in the room and only find two teens?)
    • Don't play favorites. (I know we're supposed to love all our teens equally, but let's be honest -- some teens we just have better chemistry with than others. Why not make them your focus and allow your other adult leaders to focus on other youth?)
    • Games are a must. (Does every youth gathering really need some crazy game as a way to kick things off or as a reward for sitting through Bible study?)
    • There has to be a program. (How about walking in to a meeting and when the youth say "What are we doing tonight?" you respond "Nothing." and see what happens?)
    • If I just do things right, we'll have tons of teens in our ministry. (Really? So it's all about you, huh?)
    • I teach. The youth learn. (Or we could try: I shut up. The youth talk. I learn more about how they see the world, their faith, the Church...)

    Any others?



    Anonymous said...

    "If I just do things right, we'll have tons of teens in our ministry."

    This one is AWESOME. Great reminder.

    Jay Miklovic said...

    We start @ (insert time here) and end @ (insert time here) on (insert day here)

    With the ability to reach kids via txt messaging, twitter, etc... impromptu meetings and service projects can be put together in minutes, and randomly-- just like normal friendships function.

    We had 4 impromptu service projects this week, that were not planned at all.

    Jay Miklovic said...

    Or how about this rule that we all have in some measure:

    Youth ministry must focus on (insert your passion here) because that is the most important element of youth ministry.

    We hear that 'relationships' are the most important, or 'service' is the most important, or relevant gospel preaching, or involvement with adults, or... so on and so forth.

    If one thing becomes most important something else will always be neglected.

    Brian said...

    keystone- thanks for commenting.
    Jay, great additions to the list, particularly your observation that we no longer are so tied to youth minsitry happening on a particular schedule.

    Kenny Hard QuĂ­mico said...

    "All we have to do we have to do, inside the church"

    - Then the youth don't know how to be christians out of the church, where is more difficult.

    Jeff Purkiss said...

    Youth events must be coed. We can't separate the guys from the girls.

    Actually, I think it's absolutely necessary to have them spend some time separated. There is so much to be taught only to the young men and only to the young ladies. Our culture wants to deny the many differences between the sexes and our youth often resist being separated (but that's often the hormones talking).

    Take a look at for more.


    Heath said...

    Lock-ins are essential. I plan on breaking that one as soon as possible.

    Anonymous said...

    I loved Jay's comment on (insert passion here). I'm a volunteer and I am really limited on prep time so I've noticed several times in my ministry that putting to much of an emphasis on relationships can really make me neglect the importance of preparing my messages and vice versa.

    revjen said...

    I LOVE the one about size being all important. I've worked with large groups and small groups and have learned that size really has nothing to do with quality of youth ministry. In smaller groups there is more sponteneity and room for the Spirit to direct things.

    Here's one to add, "Youth groups should entertain kids." I still do not believe kids come to church for the purpose of being entertained. They can get that anywhere.