Developing A Crisis Response In YTH Ministry
We are dealing with an important question this week on the blog. I love having the opportunity to help leaders through difficult issues. We have dealt with many of these issues in this blog. You can run a search right here on the site for the issue or topic that concerns you. And we have probably covered it.
Here’s the question for this week:
How do we prepare for crisis in YTH Ministry?
Crisis will come to all of us at some time. Preparing for crisis is an important part of our response to it when it comes. One of the tags for the GenZ set is ‘the terror generation’. So much of the world the Mills and the GenZ have grown up in has been dramatic. From 9/11, the economic crash, the social media tidal wave, the racial tensions, the sexual revolution, and the more recent division in government.
There has been no shortage of drama and crisis in the new millennium.
In order to prepare a YTH Ministry for crisis of any kind, the first step is being pro-active. So here is my ideal solutions to the kind of leadership we should be having with this generation right now. The kind of leadership that can place a YTH Ministry in the right position to solve problems BEFORE the crisis takes place.
Whether we are talking about a gun or weapon incident, a natural disaster, or an accident that occurs in the YTH Ministry, there are things that we can do to help turn these things into good.
Spiritual Discussion With The Overall YTH Ministry
The spiritual make-up (and the Emotional Quotient) of a YTH Ministry is critical to preparing leaders and students to be ready for crisis. We have to deal with this in the Millennial and GenZ set because they have no framework for a spiritual understanding of suffering or hardship. Creating a framework for a response to crisis is the first place to start.
With this lack of spirituality or theology, they may be the truly ‘post-Christian’ generation in America that we have talked about for years. So, you can see how important the spiritual discussion is to prepare the Mill/GenZ set for crisis. Here are several spiritual principles that must become a part of the culture of YTH Ministry before crisis happens:
·God is in the midst of crisis and doesn’t leave us alone. Nothing is happening that God does not see. And He does His greatest work in the midst of our greatest need.
·Crisis can actually create maturity in us. It forms strength in us. Resistance and pain and hardship are builders.
·We have to change the way we think about crisis. What we see as evil God can turn for good. When crisis comes we must capitalize on it and use it for good.
·Create a culture of conversation. Ask teens questions and get them talking. Ask them about how they feel. Don’t let students become silent or isolate.
·Build a culture of family. Value serving each other. That will create a great atmosphere and culture in the midst of crisis.
Practical Planning With The Adult and Student Leadership Teams
After the important spiritual discussions, there are practical principles that must be put in place. The spirituality of the leadership team will determine the response to crisis. But, the practical aspects that are placed in the YTH Ministry will give a format for the response.
No matter the situation, leadership is critical to handling emergency situations. Proactive organizational planning will assure appropriate responses to crisis:
·Leaders must be trained in basic response principles - bring in outside training such as police/fire, EMT (emergency medical teams), and DRT (disaster response teams) teams
·Understanding evacuation routes and sheltering locations in case the need is a quick response to certain situations
·Having an overall organizational plan at every level (pastoral, board, department leadership teams)
·Corporate communication and execution of plans and responses bi-annually with the whole YTH Ministry
·Ongoing relationship and training with area response teams
Safeguarding Yth Ministry From Crisis
Just a little thought and planning can go a long way. With these simple spiritual and practical applications, we can assure our ministries and organizations of taking advantage of crisis when it happens. We can assure our students and leaders that they will be prepared for anything that comes our way.