5 Tipping Points In Youth Ministry
Getting an advantage in Youth Ministry is crucial for momentum. Aside from the spiritual disciplines and the core competencies of the Youth Leader, there are other triggers that can create a 'Tipping Point' in Youth Ministry. Here are 5 'Tipping Points' that bring organizational vitality:
First, A Campus Presence
Too many Youth Leaders are standing on the doorsteps of the Church asking for students to come to the youth room. While at the same time, students at the school are standing on the doorsteps asking for the Youth Leader to come to the campus. And the two never see each other.
Here are two ways to reach the campus quicker. The first way to reach the campus is to train campus missionaries. There is no such thing as a closed campus. Because our students are there everyday. The second way to reach the campus is by attending or working with the extra-curricular events. It could be attendance at the football game on Friday night (where the city comes to meet you), or, by helping coach or volunteer with a sports team, the choir, or even tutoring. These are all access ways to reach the campus.
Second, Create an Atmosphere of Acceptance
Unconditional Love is the ultimate viral movement. Partly because it is missing in a society that is performance based. With the family in the situation it is in, when a Youth Ministry exhibits Godly love, there is a magnetic culture-builder set. In a father-less (and mother-less and sibling-less) generation, a Youth Ministry that models an atmosphere of acceptance will quickly become a force to deal with in a region.
Third, Leadership Development
It takes all kinds of people to reach all kinds of people. Every type to reach type. Superman ministry doesn't work because Superman has a weakness. However, when you incorporate SuperFriends, there is no weakness. A plurality of leadership under a singular vision will reach more people than you can imagine. There may not be a better way to naturally reach more people than to train more people.
Use your personal content for training your leaders. You can also present articles, books, and podcasts of outside leaders who can train your people in the Youth Leader meetings. Invite guests who are in the Church setting that can handle leadership development to stay over for a Monday evening Youth Leadership training.
Another great talent and gift developer is a Fine Arts program. With the gifts of your leaders and students in mind, joining a National Fine Arts program is a great way to shape the talents of everyone. The leaders who are overseeing and working with the students get a chance to mentor the students. And the students get a chance to use art, music, choir, spoken word, short sermon, drama, or photography, to build the kingdom.
Fourth, Contextual Outreach
What is your setting? Urban, Metro, Suburban, or Rural? Are there more J-highers or S-highers? What works for one church may not work in the next. Finding the events, programming, or activities in your setting is vital to drawing interest from students. Play off seasonal marketing. A Back to School event, Homecoming ideas, a Halloween weekend, New Year's event, Valentine's emphasis, Prom alternatives, Graduation celebration, and Summer mystery events.
Be creative with moments in the calendar that will generate instant momentum. These seasonal ideas create their own marketing and promotional cache.
Fifth, Intentional Prayer
This would not be pre-service prayer. That is not sacrificial. Youth Ministry can choose to be 'this' or 'that'. 'That' is normal. 'This' is super-natural. Jesus said if we want a certain kind of ministry, prayer would do it. He said, "This kind only comes out through prayer and fasting."
-Assign prayer partners in the Youth Ministry. Pair the students up and watch them grow.
-Schedule a Youth Prayer meeting weekly, monthly, etc.
Organized and intentional prayer will do more for a Youth Ministry than anything else. By far. Walking up the 'teeter-totter' of Youth Ministry can be scary. But, the closer we get to the fulcrum or the center-point, the easier the momentum becomes. Sooner than later, you are running downhill.
If you have ever been on a teeter-totter you know there is a point of no return. These kind of triggers can create the 'Tipping Point' you need for easier Youth Ministry.