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Linda, I think that all church leaders struggle with feeling “adequate” as all feel the weight of the calling. But it is a calling from God. And God knows that you are more than enough. I also think that many struggle with the same roadblocks, questions and concerns. Would you consider posting them on the public forum and engaging in conversation with others who are in the same boat and may be wresting with the same issues? Best, Kelly
We live in an isolating environment. How do we connect with them?
1. Even youths are on a journey.
2. Struggle in faith in correspondent to their struggle with other areas of life – academics, athletics, social relationships, culture
3. They go through season of doubts… hang in there with them.
1. I am important to other people… the George Bailey experience
2. expect to have your heart broken… faithful people will get their hearts broken.
I liked this discussion with Dr. Frederick Edie,
Integrating the youth ministry into the life of the church is exceptional practice. While there is value to the youth having community with other youth groups etc. , there is never a replacement for the community nurturing in their parish life.
I remember Fan the Fire youth day. 4:00 mass on a Saturday . We were at the parish at 8:30 am and the worship was the parish mass. The people of the parish were so welcoming to over 400 youth and sat in the church with them happily. This church really knows how to include and welcome their youth. They are invested in them. Dr. Edie said ” Frame life in worship and engage them in worship and they will be sustained.”
Understand the core values of the church. Look to see if the church mission statement aligns with the core values of the youth ministry core values.
Discern the “why” in all questions / Why is this important, why is this a value, why is this part of our goal, etc etc
Core Values should be reflected/answered in the statement.
These questions are important to ask ourselves often. A vision if discerned carefully should come from God. I think there is value to having a retreat for reflection in establishing the mission statement and to be sure it is gospel rooted. I personally feel that the youth’s needs should be articulated first in the statement. If we are committed to helping them lead, they should therefore be a strong part of sharing gifts and their needs. We should use our gifts to encourage their gifts and help them by showing them resources etc. Our own vision statement shouldn’t be our own. There are resources according to Rev. Skip to help us, but the church community will be different from church to church. A lo of questions needs to be answered and core values need to be reflected in the statement. Ask questions and get the “why” answers.
What options/referrals can we hold out for our youth who are struggling? Mental health workers, treatment facilities, medical staff, naturopaths.
Have we done that research sufficiently, such that we can answer that question? Studying and understanding addiciton.
Do we know enough about the signals that might indicate that a youth is struggling with addiction, or with other mental illness concerns? How can we notice these things?
People stop showing up. Things are changing. “I’ve noticed…”
I really liked the 5 Ls – Live, love, listen, learn… lead I won’t become a youth minister for about 2 more months, but I have started praying through the 5 Ls regularly. I think they are beneficial in all walks of life. As a small group leader, I am amazed by the insights of my group members. I have learned a lot through their insights. I believe all Christians have the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit gives insights into all of his children. So, I hope to learn from my youth as I have learned from my small group.
I think a vision for a ministry, or anything in life for that matter, can come from divine inspiration. I also visions can come from ourselves or false prophets. God even warns Jeremiah against such false teachers. So, I think the vision/mission statement should be prayerfully constructed based on God’s revelation, our personal abilities/desires, and the community’s needs. No matter the situation – COVID, political scandals, protests – God has a plan for our lives and for his church. Thus, we can be hopeful even as we live as exiles in 2020.
Autonomy is the necessary ability that I have an independent power, and if it is healthy, only then can I move into healthy relationships with others
identity what differentiates me; makes me unique formation of identity
engage in the world – source of power; external or internal locus of control – sense of self evolves from external to internal – I call on myself to make decisions – access my ability to make choices and decisions, etc.
How do we interact with others and then find our place at the table.
Purpose is the engine that drives my decisions. Purpose follows autonomy and autonomy comes out an internal locus of control and solid sense of identity.
How are our youth our neighbors? They are children of God. They live in our communities. They are members of our tribes.
And how might we love them as we love ourselves (understanding that that entails us loving ourselves as well)? Continual care, checking in, and ministering to their needs.
Loving a neighbor means getting involved, even when we might not wish to, or when it does not feel comfortable. What might that look like here, as we talk about youth who are in very insecure or traumatic life situations? Asking questions, engaging in conversation, offer resources, contact appropriate authorities.
liturgies: love shaping practices, social, communal, formative rituals that we do and that they do something to us, loaded with a vision of the good life. learning to love something in a certain way.
Informing and inviting.
formative practices: routines
Fascinating perspectives. Love the use of the arts to build compassion, empathy, and perspective. As an experiential arts practitioner for the purposes of healing, these words are affirming.