Sample Orientation Book for Youth Workers and Volunteers
We gather in the hope of creating a Christian community where youth can come to know that they are loved and learn to love themselves and others. YG strives to be a sanctuary where youth are free to be themselves and embrace the knowledge that they are created by God. We recognize and appreciate that all people are created differently. As God’s love is unconditional for all beings we seek to be vessels of that all encompassing love and nurture each person’s unique gifts and talents. Through service and fellowship we aspire to create transformative experiences that challenge the youth and deepen their faith. Youth group is a place where we celebrate that adolescent life is not fragile but abundant and assured. In all that we do we want the youth to experience God’s trustworthiness, transcendence and love.
We encourage the youth to live a Christian lifestyle working and selflessly serving together to help others. Service experiences are provided on a regular basis and projects will range from construction to person to person relationships and the ultimate life experience of service on a mission trip.
YG engages youth in an ever-deepening conversation about the fundamental questions of life. We invite the youth to open explorations on their faith journeys. Experiencing alternative and awesome forms of worship through prayer, meditation, movement and music intertwined within all of our programs.
Fun and Fellowship
We develop a safe community through the experience of building friendships, trust and respect through activities where youth can escape from the pressures of teenage life and just have fun. Sharing the joyful abundance of life together creates connections that strengthen a sense of community.
Developing united teams bonded by friendship, love, experience and commitment to one another.
Putting a focus on living a flourishing life now. Team discussions providing a time to communicate and express what is on their minds and bringing to light, exploring and sharing common issues, joys, concerns, triumphs, and life challenges.
Hopes and Aspirations for Workers and Volunteers
- Build positive healthy relationships with the YGers
- Be trustworthy
- Help YGers see they are worthy of love and they are loved just the way they are.
- Support them during stressful times
- Enrich YG activities with your own input and creativity
- Help directors plan and lead weekly events and trips
- Encourage loving service of others and a knowledge that each person can make a difference in the world
- Have fun and fellowship
Expectations for Advisors
- Clearly define and maintain appropriate boundaries
- Communicate about and meet expectations
- Maintain energy for team leadership
- Be a consistent presence in the YGers lives
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities
- Respecting time commitment to YG and having a life outside YG
Workers are Asked to:
- Attend each Sunday meeting.
- If you cannot attend an event or meeting let us know two weeks in advance, unless it is an emergency or health situation that arises suddenly.
- Plan and have weekly contact with team members.
- Plan one full team activity per month
- Come on trips
- Come to all covenant community building events
Team Building Day
Mother Daugther Banquet
Mission Send-Off Dinner
- Send weekly emails to team
- Come to once a month advisor meeting following YG
- Complete Safe Church Training
Youth Program Goals
- To provide meaningful experiences in a safe place in which to learn the joys and challenges of working, playing and learning together in a community of Christian fellowship and love.
- To foster the knowledge and love of God through discussions, activities and service projects.
- To offer youth an environment in which to discover they are not alone, a forum to discuss and deal with issues in their lives, and people to support and love them through times of happiness, grief, fear and change.
What Does God Want Us to Do With the Kids?
- Help them to Experience God
- Provide a safe place for them in the world
- Provide prospective on reality
- Provide a community of: love, unconditional acceptance, support, understanding and compassion, forgiveness
- Ask them to question priorities
- Help them love themselves
- Being a Christian in not just about going to church or praying, it’s a way of life
- Get them to be proud and passionate about the YG community
- Help them to look outside themselves during their teen age years
- Help them to separate high school from reality or what life could be
- Lead them in worship and help them to seek transformation
- Help them to experience that praying can be powerful
- Remove the social barriers of teenage society
- Show then that they are not alone
- Be a trustworthy and empathetic support system
How Do We Do This?
- Drive passion into works/experiences/actions
- Invite them beyond themselves, outside of comfort zones
- Take action as a community
- Get to know them-look for their passions/ talents/ gifts that they cannot see…learn about what they love to do
- Build a well tuned leadership team with Seniors
- Need to focus on “big tent” in the fall then move to small tent and team structure
- Need to plan team events outside of YG
- First experience love and connection , then link to God
- Community building…challenge is teaching self sacrifice and love beyond their borders
SERVICE and MISSION TRIPS
- Make a reality of what we are doing.
- Connect actions and experiences to history
- Frame experiences through experience/people/history. Show kids they are a part of a much bigger picture than themselves
- Take time to frame experience from a Christian Perspective: Who is the recipient of our service?
- They are a beloved child of God
- You are being empowered by the gifts of God
- Kids must understand that they are a part of a mighty YG tradition of alumni as well as part of a Christian tradition going back hundreds of generations
- The Gathering at center of YG and MSYG experiences
- Open or Close each weeks programs with prayer
- Remind kids that God is working in our lives
- Find elements of God/scripture that is authentic and natural for us and use those tools to explain to group
- Get kids on board to open/close meeting
Vespers Topics that WILL come up…
- Eating disorders
- Problems with Parents, Families, Friends
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Sexual behavior
- Address coping skills
- Don’t condone bad behavior
- Have directed and facilitated discussions in Vespers that address these issues
- Seek assistance from other Youth Ministers if you need help dealing with the problems raised!
- Silence about these issues can mean:
- we in YG don’t deal with these issues
- Keeping responsibilities clear and being accountable for our individual tasks
- Coherent shared vision should start the year
- Walk alongside each other to keep creative
(c) The Congregational Church of New Canaan