Monday, November 08, 2010

Youth Ministry

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. 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.

1 comment:

sko3 said...

I interned at a church where I started a little youth program. The most significant thing we did--and the thing they remember the most was creating a "youth room." We designed a mural and painted it on the walls (after getting approval). Then they painted a cabinet and moved it into the room--this was the "youth cabinet" and had stuff that nobody else was allowed to use, even though other groups met in the room. The process of designing and decorating the room--done at the cost of only paint--everything was already in the church in some way. (We found a table and chairs to paint, too--the former table and chairs were unpaintable so we swapped out with another room). There were maybe 5 kids in the program, and creating the youth room took almost all year. I was surprised how proud they were of it, and what a big deal it was.