A How-to-Guide for Innovation in Your Youth Ministry
Is your youth ministry struggling? Now a few years into the pandemic, are you having trouble getting the kids to return? Are you unsure of where you’re going or what to try next? Perhaps it’s time to recalibrate, and let God lead you (and your youth) down a new path. See what The Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean has to say about the role of God as innovator and pastors as co-creators of change.
In May of 2022, the Yale Youth Ministry Institute welcomed and hosted Rev. Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and the Rev. Matt Overton. In a day-long session, Kenda and Matt worked with church leaders on how to be more expansive in hopes and dreams (and packaging!) for their youth programs. The following videos and accompanying questions have been compiled into a resource, which we hope will be helpful to you in your journey of reimagining your youth ministry.
Status of the Church and the Need to Innovate, Kenda Creasy Dean
- Reflective questions: Does this track with how I see my church’s youth ministry? What have I witnessed in this season? How might we help unbind our youth, and accompany them on their way out of their tombs?
One Church’s Story of Innovation, Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: What parallels might there be between Matt’s story and mine? What are the possibilities for my youth ministry, in my setting? If not landscaping, what might be the “hook” for my folks?
Starting the Conversation, Kenda Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: How can I help my leaders become curious about this process? What are little steps that we can start to implement?
Innovation as Falling in Love with the Problem, Kenda Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: Am I too excited about the solution, or am I in love with the problem? What discernment might need to be done before we move in a given direction?
The Role of the Pastor in Innovation, Kenda Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: What are my gifts in innovation? What aren’t my gifts?
Failure in Innovation, Kendra Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: What does failure look like for me, in my gut? How might I model a healthy approach to courage, trying new things, and not being afraid?
Burning Out and Knowing Oneself, Kenda Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: What am I discerning about my own well-being right now? What can I do to tend to my own spirit in this work of innovation?
Hope for Young People, Kenda Creasy Dean and Matt Overton
- Reflective questions: How do I keep my focus on my kids, and on their journey rather than our sense of what the destination should be? How can I remain humble and hopeful in this process?
For more excellent video clips of Kenda and Matt, please see our YouTube Playlist on Innovation.