In Episode 6 of The Youth Ministry Mindset Podcast, a limited series with voices from Alpha and YDisciple, Joshua, Annie, and Jordan discuss practicals of reproducing a transformational youth ministry that empowers young people. Join us as we continue the conversation on youth ministry in a post-COVID world.
Faith in teenagers can take roots when we give them leadership roles. They want to minister with us, be part of the ministry, and want us to walk with them as they integrate into the Church’s ministry.
How do we do that? Model. Assist. Watch. Launch. (M.A.W.L.)
Model what it looks like to be a leader in the parish community. Model what service to the broader community looks like.
Assist them as they try to lead in whatever capacity you’ve been modeling. Be near and help the youth as you go.
Watch them as they lead, encourage, and still offer feedback. But they lead everything.
Launch them into taking full control. Encourage them, “You’ve got this!”
Discipleship is an apprenticeship, not a program. So we walk with youth and nurture their gifts. Even after the Launch phase, we stay in relationship with them, as a Discipler, integrating youth into the work with us.
Give teens tools and ownership, not just a job.
We can invite young people into the process of ownership in ministry from the beginning. Let’s give the youth opportunities to integrate into the parish; into other parish groups. Even ask other staff how the youth can help their mission.
We don’t need to put on a show, but invite them into the process, a chance for them to build the thing they benefit from. Even let them take ownership of the content, giving them options.
When young people encounter Jesus, they share that. We need people who will give tools to have conversations and love well. We need to model that they don’t need to “finish formation” to have something to offer.
Get out of the way and don’t take control. Come alongside young people who are learning to lead, to remind them ‘your failure isn’t a failure. We need to launch disciples, to make other disciples. If we are not doing this – it’s not really discipleship. Find other youth ministers and journey with them. Celebrate each other’s successes, gain insight from each other’s experiences.
- Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Woman at the Well – John 4:4
7:50 “It’s important that we don’t think ‘Oh this is how we reproduce ourselves a million times over, so I don’t have to do anything.’ No, you are doing the work of being a disciple, and you’re integrating them to do something with you.”
12:09 “They are looking for things to integrate themselves into, and we just have to create those opportunities, and we can’t replicate jobs cause they are going to know when a job is hollow.”
31:14 “If you want to see young people who are alive in Christ, then find young people who are activated in Christ.”