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    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Student Leadership- It's Important!

    Youth Ministry has been going through a big identity crisis recently.
      I'll say it has less to do with "Youth Ministry" and more to do with "Youth Pastors".  We've all been watching the generations change and seeing that they need different stuff in order to connect with or even hear about the Gospel of Jesus.  In the past 10 years, there have been different approaches and several different ideas as to how to fix the growing angst against formalized youth groups.  Many approaches have been tested, weighed and found wanting (that's from A Knight's Tale BTW).  Youth Pastors have seemingly tried everything and found themselves still being ineffective or slightly effective at best.

      When it comes to the paradigm discussion, I feel like few have gotten it right, with the exception of a couple, like Mark Oestreicher in his book Youth Ministry 3.0, where he expounds upon the shifts in youth ministry and why the older models are failing.  To see my 3-part review of this book go here: Youthmaster-Mark Oestreicher

      However, a new thing, which isn't really a new thing is coming into view for more and more youth pastors: Student Leadership is what should drive the ministry.  Part of the old model (Youth Ministry 2.0) as Marko calls it; is this myth that it's all about the youth pastor. 

    "He's the one being paid, so he must do all the work." Is a myth that many of us have bought into which has been perpetuated to us from our: Senior Pastor, our parents, our church board and sometimes from our leaders.  When we follow along with this type of ministry it gets dangerous.  We begin to burn out, we begin to offend our leaders and worst of all, we begin to push teens away.

      We must insist on Student Leadership, they must OWN the ministry they are part of so it can stop being a show for them and begin to be training for missional living.  The youth team I am a part of has started to really recognize this piece of youth ministry and has begun to make strides to put a lot of the ministry in the hands of our teens.

      I am blessed to have a Director who sees God's vision for our teens and is leading us down this path.  The idea of student leadership wasn't on my brain...I had fallen back into the Youth Ministry 2.0 model and made it all about what I could do, but he has re-directed my thinking and re-sold me on the need for student leadership.

      During this time of understanding student leadership and it's importance, I got an email from Leadertreks about student leadership which contained a free e-book written by Doug Franklin, President of LeaderTreks on Student Leadership.  The title is Student Leaders are Church Leaders. I have read this book and believe it to be a great manifesto for student leadership.  It provides reasons for student leadership and tools to begin handing the ministry over to them.

      Once teens own something, truly own it there is no telling how far they can make it go with the power of the Spirit of God within them.  I am excited to be able to offer the link to the FREE e-book, which is below.  I know the team I am a part of as well as myself personally will be wrestling with these principles laid forth in this book as well as the idea of Student Leadership in general...will you join me?  Because  Student Leadership- It's IMPORTANT!

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Youth Ministry Linxus

    Links, links Links!  I recently got an email that had on a link to a great blog...which had links!

      All of these links are super sweet and have good Youth Ministry content.  I copied and pasted the notes and links from HERE to show you some really cool links!

      Some of these guys, if you've been in youth ministry for awhile you will know already, but this list has got some newer ones as well!



    10 Great Blogs for Youth Ministers


    The best ideas are often inspired by seeing someone else in action. That’s often especially true in youth ministry, where one minister’s approach will spur another to think outside the box, which in turn pushes another to look for new ways to engage with their students. With that in mind, here are ten great blogs for youth ministers, full of personal experiences and ministry insights.


    1. More Than Dodgeball

    Joshua Griffin serves as the high school pastor at Southern California’s Saddleback Church, home of pastor Rick Warren. His blog features books and podcasts for students and ministers, as well as general posts about life and culture. Includes helpful links to books and other media.


    2. Rethinking Youth Ministry

    Rethinking Youth Ministry is run by a pair of youth ministers in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Missouri, with one based in St. Louis and the other in Columbia. Their bio says that they’re “passionate about rethinking ministry with youth from a progressive Christian perspective.” The blog focuses on helpful ways to get teens involved with each other and with ministry, as well as how to avoid pitfalls that plague a lot of ministries.


    3. 100 or More

    As its name implies, this blog targets leaders of youth groups with more than 100 members, since working with that many kids can often present logistical challenges that smaller groups don’t have to worry about. You can also follow author Jeff Maguire on Twitter.


    4. Serial Youth Pastor

    Chris, a youth minister in Iowa, blogs about his work with students as well as the way issues of faith and spirituality pop up in modern culture.


    5. Confessions of an Average Youth Minister

    Shane, a youth minister in Alabama, grew up in a conservative Baptist church but now works at one that is “much more open to new ideas and new ways to express our love for God.” His confessional approach highlights his fears and worries as well as his successes, which can be helpful for ministers who are worried that they’re the only ones struggling with a particular issue.


    To see the final 5, go here: http://www.christiancollegesanduniversities.com/blog/2010/10-great-blogs-for-youth-ministers/