The importance of trusted relationships and nurturing communities for adolescents cannot be overstated. Adolescence is a time of growing independence, developing sexuality, relationship formation, and other associated vulnerabilities. Youth ministry programs can play a vital role in helping youth to develop relationship with adults and peers where they are accepted unconditionally, can ask deep questions, seek help and support, and develop in their faith. An inclusive, nurturing community can be a haven in an otherwise turbulent time.
In this course, we’ll explore developing trusted relationships and nurturing communities. The course is designed as an interactive exercise and divided in sections. Each will provide an opportunity for you to “prepare, engage and reflect” on each topic. If every section were to be completed, with the group meeting weekly, this course would take six weeks to complete. It is also possible to complete the course in a shorter period of time by combining sections (Sections 1-2, Sections 3-5, Section 6) based on your team’s availability. Similarly, this could be expanded, and the focal Scripture passages—merely used here as a discussion starter, and a backdrop for the youth ministry topics— could be used as a jumping off point for a whole Bible study for each gathering. We are hopeful that the person leading this effort will feel free to adapt what is provided to their particular community’s needs.