Everyone wants a dynamic youth ministry. Yet, to have that one has to be willing to go the distance, which is not always comfortable. Here are three things I feel are key to having a dynamic youth ministry.
1) Go out on a limb.
You’ve got to be wiling to try new and innovative things. As it is in the tech world, the same is true in other areas of our lives: we want the next best thing. The next best thing doesn’t come to those who wait…it comes to those who create. Shift your services by rearranging the worship setting, introduce topics with video and discussion questions to prime the pump, use more than just videos but incorporate sounds, smells and actions into the service. Do services in reverse, or in silence, outside or in a different venue altogether. Theme out your services, utilizing the current trends in culture or following up on a mainstream idea. Fruit is out on a limb and you’re only gonna get it if you’re willing to risk it.
2) Go beyond the limb.
I’ve heard it said before that as youth workers we must be willing to go so far out on a limb that there’s no turning back. Dynamic youth ministry happens when the youth actually realize that you are willing to do anything and everything to reach them…even if it doesn’t fly. Or you fail at it. Kids want to know you really care and by going for things that are not the usual fare, it helps them to know that you are in it to win them. Taking chances with youth is not easy and the kids are not always going to respond the way we would like but they will most certainly appreciate the efforts and respect you for it. When you’ve gotten the respect, you’ll get the growth. Ultimately kids don’t care how flashy it is if it doesn’t mean anything. Being willing to go beyond the limb is what will help us see lives saved in the end.
3) Maintain your edge.
In a world where everything is “Go!” “Go!” “Go!” It is essential to Slow! Slow! Slow! This sounds contradictory to the other two points but as a youth leader and even as a ministry practice, it is imperative to incorporate down times for dynamic growth. No one can go all the time. If you want dynamic growth you have to be willing to invest in a few solid leaders which takes time! Be willing to spend some time teaching them how to lead and equipping them with how to do it. Dynamic ministry happens when we maintain our edges by reading, praying and building relationships together. Edge-living Christians must be sharp and stay in tune with their own hearts and souls and relationships with God which cannot happen without periods of silence and retreat. Schedule downtime, plan a silent retreat, and map out your direction. As a trailblazer for dynamic youth ministry, you’ve got to maintain your edge and the best way to do this is to seek God’s direction by faith.