So...youth ministry is an absolutely essential component of congregational life. I believe it. I also know that is not where my skills and talents lie. But...in this small, struggling in some ways--vibrant in others--congregation I now serve, this was an area where there really wasn't anything. So I'm trying--a once a month high school group. First time there were 2 kids, last night there were 6. And I just kind of let them go to see how they interact with one another and me and talk about faith stuff and life stuff.
I came home with a splitting headache. And some thoughts about how I need to go from here.
1. I need to make a youth room happen. This has apparently been discussed ad nauseum for years and they are feeling pretty defeated I think. They are all smart kids; they understand we have a really small space and the space would have to be shared--in that it may be needed at times for certain other things. (So no black walls or graffiti or stuff like that) They need to know I (and the congregation) really do care about them.
2. I need to make some 'ground rules' next time. Nothing major--just things like, oh, don't talk when someone else is talking once we get started. I'm all about just hanging out time too--but once we start a conversation--let's listen to one another. Really--that's about the only one. They were pretty good about checking phones and putting them away, rather than texting throughout--so unless that becomes a problem later, whatever.
What else--I'm pretty clueless. But for now, I guess this will do.