Understanding the Impacts of 2020 on Middle Schoolers
We can’t ignore the unique impact of 2020 on Middle Schoolers. There is already crisis that exists in every phase of a student’s developmental life. Whenever these crisis occur in the context of unpredictable or traumatic situations, they can affect the emotional growth of the average Middle School student in pivotal ways. It’s important for the adult community to understand how the normal range of issues teenagers are facing have been accentuated by the social, racial, and political uncertainties of our present culture.
Understanding the Impacts of 2020 on High Schoolers
We can’t ignore the unique impact of 2020 on High Schoolers. There is already crisis that exists in every phase of a student’s developmental life. Whenever crisis occurs in the context of unpredictable or traumatic situations, they can affect the emotional growth of the average High School student in pivotal ways. It’s important for the adult community to understand how the normal range of issues teenagers are facing have been accentuated by the social, racial, and political uncertainties of our present culture.
What Every Leader Should Know about Grief
Your ability to understand grief personally affects how you lead someone else that is grieving. When adult leaders model how to deal with grief and pain, it sends a message of hope to kids and teenagers. There is no leader who is exempt from fear, anxiety, depression, or the temptation to quit. That’s why it’s actually ok for you to make your personal mental, emotional, and physical health a priority. The people around you need you to be the healthiest version of you that you can be.
Sharpening Your Creativity in the Middle of a Crisis
Creativity thrives in crisis. That’s why now is such an incredible opportunity to experiment and discover new ways of doing what you do. You not only need permission to rethink everything, but you may need to jumpstart your creative process. Learn how to collaborate and ideate in a way that gives new energy to your message and programs.
Innovating Our Way Forward
Yulee Lee & Steve Argue
The shape of youth ministry is shifting faster than any other time in history. Our willingness to experiment with HOW we do what we do and learn from each other is a key to making disciples in this next decade. That’s why we need to sharpen our skills to innovate and leverage collective learning that will redefine youth ministry culture.
Developing Healthy Volunteer Leaders
Building an effective youth ministry isn’t possible without having an effective team of caring volunteer leaders. You’ll learn the best practices that have been proven to find, develop and sustain healthy volunteers. It’s time to transition from the desperate search for more leaders to an intentional approach that understands and values volunteer development. The results are too important for your teenagers to not get this right.
Building a Relationally-Driven Youth Ministry
Katie Matsumoto Moore
The goal of everything you do is summed up in the word “relationship.” An effective youth ministry always moves teenagers toward a positive relationship with God and others. The reality is that you can never force a teenager to have a healthy relationship with a leader, a parent or even with God. You can, however, organize your ministry to make relationships a priority. What would it look like to rethink your budget, volunteers, messages, and programs so that relationships clearly matter?
Rethinking Discipleship for Middle Schoolers
It’s a question that is being asked more frequently than you may realize. It’s more important than ever to rethink HOW we disciple students in Middle School. It will require leaders to make radical shifts in how they actually see spiritual growth. If our goal is to help students own their own faith, it may begin with a careful examination of what a dynamic faith actually looks like. This generation needs a fresh encounter with an authentic faith that will make a positive impact in their sense of identity, belonging, and purpose.
Rethinking Discipleship for High Schoolers
It’s a question that is being asked more frequently than you may realize. It’s more important than ever to rethink HOW we disciple students in High School. It will require leaders to make radical shifts in how they actually see spiritual growth. If our goal is to help students own their own faith, it may begin with a careful examination of what a dynamic faith actually looks like. This generation needs a fresh encounter with an authentic faith that will make a positive impact in their sense of identity, belonging, and purpose.
How to Talk about Racial Justice (as a White Leader) When You're Still Unlearning
If you don’t respond to the racial injustices around you, you will forfeit influence with the faith of this generation. Simply put, kids are hungry for a version of Christianity that doesn’t discriminate. They are attracted to a style of kids ministry that not only confronts racial injustice, but consistently demonstrates the Gospel imperative to reconcile people to God and each other. It’s time for kids ministry to lead the way in influencing the ethnic IQ and empathy of a generation. How we engage with this issue will determine how every kid engages in your ministry.
Giving Students the Keys to Leadership
Brad Griffin & Andy Jung
Just because young people are stuck at home doesn’t mean they have any less to offer. If you’re wondering how to raise up leaders who are ready to get in the game and play, this breakout teaches the core principles and practices of passing the keys of leadership to today’s young people.
How to Talk with Teenagers about the 2020 Election
News flash: You will be talking to students about politics in 2020. Whether you like it or not this subject will still be around long after the November elections. How you do or don’t respond may determine how a student or parent sees your church. It’s simply impossible to ignore the political tension that exists in families and communities around your church. When it comes to creating safe spaces to listen and understand each other, students will take their cue from you as an adult.
What Your Volunteers Really Need from You
Before you ask your volunteers for something else, ask yourself this question, “What do your volunteers really need from you right now?” Maybe it’s time to actually volunteer for your volunteers. There’s a possibility that the most important thing you do right now is to show them how to show up by showing up for them.
Speaking to Teenagers
Teenagers are a different breed of listenersm. Anyone who speaks consistently to this audience feels the tension between keeping their attention and actually teaching them something meaningful. One of the most important principles in communicating to teenagers is the audience gets to vote. If we want them to vote to listen, we have to take seriously the task of engagement. This seminar will offer a way of constructing your speaking to maximize their hearing.
Redesigning Your Ministry to Engage Parents of Teenagers
Research suggests that there is growing mistrust from millennial parents toward the church. That’s why it is more critical than ever for youth ministries to redesign programming that is parent friendly. If you want to change how you influence students, you may have to confront the wrong assumptions you make about their parents. Until there is a shift in how your church sees and engages every parent you will limit the potential of your ministry.
Prioritizing for Your Personal Health and Relationships
Sometimes it’s counterintuitive to put your personal relationships before your personal ministry. That’s why you have to be intentional about establishing your health, family, and friends as your primary ministry. Making your personal life a priority isn’t selfish, it’s actually smart. What would it look like if you started giving yourself permission to guard your relationships more than you try to build your ministry?
Responding to the Mental Health Crisis of Today's Youth
We don’t need to look far to see that both before, during, and likely after this pandemic, young people navigate unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide. This breakout equips you with practical answers to the pressing questions of why we’re seeing this surge and how your team can offer the hope and help students and families need.
Re-Imagining Events for Students
The rules keep changing in how we do events for teenagers. Although there will never be a substitute for the dynamic that happens when students gather, we have to be more strategic than ever about how we gather. The role of camps, retreats, and events are as important as ever. Events are catalytic opportunities to jumpstart relationships and faith. That’s why we have to adjust how we program and produce gatherings so this generation continues to experience the power collective faith has to impact their future.
Training Volunteers to Recognize and Prevent Abuse
As a youth worker you are one of the most strategic relationships in a student’s life. You may be the best chance for a teenager to find a safe place. That’s why it’s important to understand how to read the signs when a student may be in trouble. Discover the steps that need to be taken so you are prepared to become an effective advocate to protect someone from abusive behaviors.
Supporting Families of Students with Special Needs
There may be more homes with special needs in your community than you ever imagined. That’s because the everyday complications these families face tend to keep them isolated and invisible to our ministry. That’s why churches who rethink their programming with special needs in mind will provide an oasis to so many homes. If you want to change the way these parents see your church, change the way you support their families.
Redefining Your Role as a Volunteer
It was complicated enough to figure out how to connect with teenagers when you could show up in the same room. If you are volunteering in youth ministry you may be having an identity crisis. How do you build relationships in a social distancing world? How do you help students grow spiritually in a zoom meeting? What does it look like to win as a volunteer with teenagers right now? There is a way forward, if we remember why we started volunteering to do this in the first place.
Redefining Your Role as a Youth Pastor
Ok. Don’t let the term “pastor” throw you if it’s not officially in your title. We are not trying to start a theological debate about what you are allowed to be officially called. But we do hope to help you clarify what you do. If you are leading a youth ministry, whether you are paid, part-time, full-time, or incognito, it is time to make an emphatic statement about why this role is so important. At a time when it easy to have an identity crisis as a youth leader, let’s spend some time crafting a clear job description so everyone knows why what you do matters.
4 Things LGBTQ Students Need To Hear
What does it look like for Christian leaders to lead the way in loving a community that has historically felt rejected by the church? We believe it’s possible to “love your neighbor” regardless of your theological or doctrinal positions. The posture that your youth ministry takes regarding people in the LGBTQ community will ultimately determine how a generation views the church.
5 Things Teenagers of Color Wish Every White Leader Knew
Developing your ethnic intelligence as a white youth leader is more important than you realize. Many of the students who don’t look like you have a unique set of questions and concerns that they are not verbalizing. Here’s a chance to learn from diverse leaders about how to lead in way that shows dignity and respect to students who are marginalized in your ministry. When you understand and champion the perspectives of people who are different, it will have a lasting impact on your personal faith.
How to Effectively Implement a Digital Discipleship Strategy
Digital discipleship will continue to be an ongoing topic in the future of youth ministry. There are more possibilities than ever before to leverage social media tools and platforms to inspire faith in this generation. This shift in how we connect to a generation cannot be ignored. If we are going to influence faith in a positive way going forward it will require a radical shift in how we manage content and relationships.
How Laughter Can Lead to Youth Ministry Depth
Youth ministry is certainly more than fun and games … but the use of games/fun is also a super-important instrument in an effective youth worker’s toolbelt. If you’re simply looking for game ideas, searching for ways to engage your students (in person or online) or wanting to infuse a bit of laughter and energy into your next youth program, you’re in the right workshop! Laughter builds relationships, fun unlocks students’ hearts and even games can open the door for deeper interaction.
Mobilizing the Graduates of 2020 & 2021
The year 2020 launched a unique generation of graduates. Social distancing combined with an economic instability has impacted the normal transition students have into college and the workforce. Their future is more unpredictable than any other graduating class in recent history. Let’s explore ways to give them a renewed sense of hope and purpose in the context of a shifting culture.