Youth Ministry is tough right now with every state, county, town with different ordinances, mandates, etc. You can kick COVID right in the teeth and experience a thriving ministry regardless of where your state and local county you reside in is experiencing. It’s not a secret, its what we should have been doing long ago but are forced to think through now. Here are 3 things you can start doing today that will move the needle with the families at your church.
1. Create Resources
The that we sometimes tell ourselves is that “if they don’t show up to whatever it is that we plan, implement and pour ourselves into, they aren’t going to grow in their faith”. The truth is there are parents doing a phenomenal job at discipling their kids and helping them know Jesus. We have the opportunity to create resources to help those who need some help. What would it look like to create resources for families to engage with on a weekly basis? Can you reimagine an event that was socially distanced that parents and their teenagers could do that is fun and engaging AND that sets them up to have a spiritual conversation? (Check out this Post for ideas) Can you leverage social media, YouTube, GroupMe or any other platform to push content to families so that they have what they need every week to have great conversations with their teenagers? Create a bible reading plan and host an online discussion at the end of the week to talk about what was learned, create a prayer walk that gives prompts and encourages students and families to pray, create serving opportunities that anyone can do from home to bless a neighbor of family member. There are things that you can do! Ask a parent what they need, then figure out how to bring it to them.
2. Create New Programs
Do not just hang on to what you have always done. It’s time to innovate and dream up what you can do thats new and still accomplish and pursue the vision God has given you with the ministry at your church. COVID proof your ministry by leveraging small groups of people that you can manage efficiently with the proper safety procedures in place. Provide Options for your students, in person (if possible), hybrid online/in person, or 100% online. This is your change to empower volunteers to shepherd and own the ministry to teenagers at your church. There has never been an easier time to cast vision. Teenagers need caring adults now more than ever. Do not just shoe horn what you used to do with what you should do now. Strip it all down and build it all back up to look different, feel different but accomplish more than you could before. If you need help… get a coach!
3. Create Care
Care is the easiest way to minister to people of any age group right now. It’s the easiest thing you can do but it takes the most time, which is why it gets done so poorly. How you care for teenagers in your ministry is a big deal right now. They have to know that they have value, that they have a purpose, that they are wanted around, that they matter to people. You accomplish this by calling them, writing them notes, checking in, knowing about them, empowering other adults to care about them as well, giving them significant things to own and do, believing in them, encouraging them, etc.
How you care for your volunteers in your ministry is a big deal right now. Do you know how they are doing personally? Do you know what their family life is like? Do you know their favorite things so you can bless them and encourage them? Caring for your volunteers means knowing them on a personal level. Do you have a system in place to follow up with and check in on your adult volunteers to care fo them well?
How you care for families is a big deal right now. How are the families in your church feeling right now? How can you help and care for them well? It takes getting on their level, talking to them, getting to know them, spend time with them, care enough to call and see how things are going.
This isn’t rocket science but I believe that if every youth ministry would care more about care than about the program there would be a great depth in ministry happening.
Here are some links for resources on Parents and Volunteers.
Do not be scared… CREATE. If it fails, who cares… evaluate and try again.