“So… the fall is coming. What do I do now??”
This past year took the word “unprecedented” to a whole new level. In fact, many of us are tired: of the word itself, and of the shifting and adapting that has been needed in our ministries. As we look towards this coming year, what are the steps you can take to ensure a proactively thoughtful, thriving, faith-filled offering for your youth?
YMI is here to help! Following is a proposed timeline to help you get started:
1. Get your leaders ready! Building up your team is hugely important, and August is a great month for that. Here are some resources on how to start: Recruiting, Training, and Supervising Module and Advisor-Leader Handbook.
2. Generate a vision-rooted calendar. Take into account the mission and vision of your church and your youth programs, and create plans that flow from the mission. Do you want your youth to engage in more fellowship this year? There are resources for that: Gathering Your Youth, Developing Trusted Relationships, and Team-Building. What about mission work—was that missing in 2020-2021? Click here: Leading Transformative Service Days and Mission Trips and Outreach, Service, and Trips article. Is anti-racism work a priority? Check this out: Anti-Racism Module and Confronting Racism. Teaching your youth to be leaders? Yes! Fostering Youth Leadership. Hungry for more spiritual practices for youth? There’s a link for that too! Spiritual Practices in Youth Ministry Module and the Quest for the Spirit.
3. Continue to listen deeply to your youth. Young people lived through the pandemic during some of the most formative years of their lives. How is their mental health? How does your programming help foster spiritual resilience for your group? Check out our resources Mental Health, Pastoral Care, and Resilience Module for resources on mental health and overall wellness.
4. Continue to listen deeply to yourself. This is so often overlooked, but the well-being of a group often reflects the well-being of its leaders. How are you taking care of yourself in these days? Feel free to dig deeper: Sabbath Rest and Yale Bible Study.
As always, our staff remains available to you in this season. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for particular resources, or if you’d like to talk about all things youth ministry!
Blessings to you on the upcoming year!
Rev. Jill Olds, Director of the Youth Ministry Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org
The YDS Faculty & Alumni Sermon Collection offers sermons by Yale Divinity School faculty and alumni to enrich your studies and bring you different perspectives on scripture. Be sure to check back as this project is updated regularly in order to bring you a variety of voices from the wider YDS family.
Sermons are available in manuscript, video or audio format on the Yale Bible Study website here. Sermons can also be found in individual Yale Bible Studies based on focal scripture.
Join a Forum
Looking for a community of like-minded learners? The Yale Bible Study website offers a forum, where you can “gather” with others and participate in discussions about the Bible. You can also create a private group and invite fellow church members or colleagues to study with you from the comfort of home. Start conversations with others and grow your faith today at our YBS community page.
The Yale Youth Ministry Institute website features a public forum where you can engage with our discussion questions, which include a range of topics on self-care, spiritual practices, and online worship. Post your own questions or comments and share ideas with other youth workers. Join the conversation at our YMI community page.
2021 Upcoming Events and Offerings
Mark Your Calendar!
We are excited to announce upcoming Yale Bible Study, Yale Youth Ministry Institute and Center for Continuing Education events. All of our offerings are free and will be held virtually through the fall.
For more information on each event, click the registration links provided. We will continue to add new offerings in the coming months so be sure to check back on our YMI webpage, YBS webpage, and our Center for Continuing Education webpage.
Conversations with Colleagues: Looking Ahead
Wednesday, August 25th, 12pm-1:30pm
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17
As you look ahead to the new church year, are you feeling excited? Are you feeling tired? Do you have your youth group schedule ready to go? Or, are you still tweaking? Do you yearn for meaningful conversations with fellow youth workers who “get” it? Might your tools need some sharpening?
Join us on Wednesday, August 25, for a peer-led resource-sharing opportunity! This will be a space for colleagues to connect and speak about what has worked for their churches in the past year. We will also look towards the fall, and together sharpen our tools for the year to come.
Register for this virtual conversation at Conversations with Colleagues: Looking Ahead.
| The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry with David R. Caruso, Ph.D.
September 8th; 12 – 1:30pm
Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Important for all youth (and their leaders!) to embrace and utilize.
|The Gospel of John: An Online Bible Study with Dr. Harold Attridge
Sept. 21 & 27, Oct. 5, 12, 19 & 26; 7pm
Join us as we explore the Gospel’s narrative strategy, probe the larger theological issues that it raises, and reflect on the process of the Gospel’s development and its engagement with the intellectual and cultural context of its first century audience.
Register at: The Gospel of John: An Online Bible Study
|Leading in a Liminal Season with Rev. Susan Beaumont
October 20th; 12 – 1:30pm
Liminal seasons call for a different kind of leadership presence, one that connects the soul of leaders with the soul of the institution. Learn how to lead in a liminal season.
Register at: Leading in a Liminal Season
|Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence with Fred Sievert
October 21st; 12 – 1pm
Explore the symbiotic relationship between faith and career and provide practical Christ-centered advice for creating a career of consequence.
Register at: Fast-Starting a Career of Consequence
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