Vision, Training and Safety

Vision, Training and Safety

Without vision, the people perish… [Proverbs 29:18a]

Every youth ministry is tasked with having a clearly stated vision. In order to enact that vision, strong and faithful leaders need to be properly supervised and trained in providing spaces of unconditional love and acceptance for young people. This requires support from and engagement with the entire faith community. When all of these things provide the undergirding of a youth program, that program cannot help but grow in breadth and in depth.

Training Modules

TitleDetails
Finding a Grit Fit
Sabbath RestLeading theologians and youth practitioners explore the importance of sabbath-keeping for both youth and youth …
Offering Effective Pastoral Care
Offering Effective Pastoral CareTheologians, philosophers, and pastors examine the importance of pastoral care to youth and their families …
Quest for Life
Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety GuidelinesTheologians, philosophers, and pastors discuss the importance of maintaining boundaries, creating church safety guidelines, and …
Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth Ministries
Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth MinistriesLeading theologians and pastors explore the importance of youth ministry and how developing a mission …
Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers
Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth Workers and VolunteersLeading theologians and pastors discuss the importance of attracting, training and supervising both youth workers …
Integrating Youth Ministry into the Wider Congregation
Integrating Youth Ministry into the Wider CongregationThis course explores the place of youth ministry within the congregation and how the church …

Curricular and Sample Materials

TitleDetails
Studying the Bible with Youth
New Youth Leader “Crash Course”Best practices for new youth workers and volunteers.
Developing and Implementing a Church Safety Policy
Developing and Implementing a Church Safety PolicyThese are resources for researching, creating and enforcing a church safe conduct policy.
Denominational Resources
Safe Conduct ResourcesA listing of denominational resources on church safety policies.
Mission Trip Detailed Work Plan
Internal Check List for Hiring Youth WorkersThis list outlines suggested steps to take around church safety when hiring youth workers.
Mission Trip Detailed Work Plan
Safe Conduct Reference Check QuestionsExamples of questions for a reference check to be in compliance with safe conduct concerns.
Mission Trip Detailed Work Plan
Safe Conduct Teen Volunteer Disclosure FormSample disclosure forms for teen volunteers in youth ministry.
Mission Trip Detailed Work Plan
Interview Questions for Youth WorkersThese are examples of interview questions for people applying for youth worker positions.
Fostering Vocational Discernment
Nurturing Joy: Emotional Health 101This lesson focuses on the important concerns of depression and suicide among youth.
Advisor-Leader Handbook
Advisor-Leader HandbookA sample handbook for training youth leaders.
Youth Group Fall Schedule
Youth Group Fall ScheduleExample of a fall schedule of youth group programming.
Youth Group Handbook
Youth Group HandbookThis is an example of a youth group handbook outlining the philosophies and plans of youth program(s).
Parent-Guardian Meeting
Parent-Guardian MeetingThis lesson provides an outline for a meeting with parents-guardians at the beginning of a youth group program year.

Articles and Readings

TitleDetails
Mary Elizabeth Moore and Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano
Youth Wisdom: Pointing Towards Joy and FlourishingAn essay by Mary Elizabeth Moore and Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano on the wisdom of youth from the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing project.
Courtney Goto
“Holding Lightly”: Cultivating Playfulness in YouthAn essay by Courtney Goto and Lakisha Lockhart on the importance of playfulness for adolescents from the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing project.
Faithful Memory
Mentoring Youth for Joy in Anxious TimesAn essay by Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. and Philip Browning Helsel on anxiety and adolescents from the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing project.
Dr. Nadja Reilly
Supporting the Emotional and Spiritual Lives of AdolescentsAn essay by Nadja Reilly, Sarah F. Farmer, and Katherine Hyde on adolescent mental health from the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing project.
Dr. Joyce Mercer
Fake Joy: Substance Abuse and Young People’s Search for WholenessAn essay by Joyce Mercer and Charles E. Atkins, Jr. on substance abuse from the Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing project.
The Jesus Prayer
Offering Effective Pastoral CareArticles and resources on the importance of pastoral care to youth and their families as part of a robust youth ministry.
Integrating Youth into the Wider Congregation
Integrating Youth into the Wider CongregationArticles and resources on the place of youth ministry within the wider congregation.
Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth Ministries
Envisioning, Building and Sustaining Thriving Youth MinistriesArticles and resources on building and sustaining thriving youth ministries.
Michal Beth Dinkler
Belonging: Paul’s Notion of AutarkesThis reading is a segment by Michal Beth Dinkler from "Joy: A Guide for Youth Ministry".
Quest for Life
Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth WorkersFurther reading on how to build and supervise your youth ministry team.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Laura Carlson HaslerLaura Carlson Hasler, the Alvin H. Rosenfeld Chair in Jewish Studies, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Religious Studies at Indiana University writes an open letter to youth ministers.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Eric D. BarretoEric D. Barreto, Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary writes to youth ministers.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Amanda MbuviDr. Amanda Mbuvi, Assistant Professor of Religion at Highpoint University writes to youth ministers.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Matthew CroasmunMatthew Croasmun, Associate Research Scholar for the Yale Center for Faith and Culture writes to youth ministers.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Michal Beth DinklerMichal Beth Dinkler, Associate Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School writes an open letter to youth ministers.
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers - Amanda Mbuvi
An Open Letter to Youth Ministers – Allen HiltonRev. Dr. Allen Hilton, founder and executive director of House United, a nonprofit initiative that helps groups collaborate across theological and political differences, writes an open letter to Youth Ministers.

Best Practice Videos

TitleDetails
Group of teens on a high ropes course
Starting OutBuilding Your Ministry – The Essentials
Offering Effective Pastoral Care
Pastoral CareOffering Effective Pastoral Care
Practicing Responsible and Effective Stewardship
StewardshipPracticing Responsible and Effective Stewardship
Ministering Effectively with Parents and Families
Parents and FamiliesMinistering Effectively with Parents and Families
Integrating Youth Ministry into the Wider Congregation
The Wider CongregationIntegrating Youth Ministry into the Wider Congregation
Promulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines
Church SafetyPromulgating and Implementing Church Safety Guidelines
Recruiting, Training, and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers
SupervisionRecruiting, Training, and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers
Yale Youth Ministry Institute