Last week was a busy week. That was the week of our mini-youTheology session. It got so busy, you didn’t get your Friday blog post. My apologies. It was a good week though, with 6 young men that God sent us. Here are three takeaways from mini-youTheology for your ministry. These may be more reminders than new lessons. Anyway, here goes:
Watching, Listening, learning
You’re teaching all the time, whether or not you plan to. Young people are watching, listening, and learning. What are you teaching them? What type of awareness do you have of your impact on them?
For the last session of the week, the youth lead the worship they had prepared. When he got to the point on the order of worship where it said “offering,” the worship leader repeated the words and Scripture passages his pastor uses at that time. He did this verbatim from memory. Talk abut the impact of an adult’s words on a young person.
That’s why this is one of the takeways. The young people are watching you, listening to what you say, and learning. What lesson are you teaching?
The importance of boundaries and accountability in establishing community
If everyone is to benefit and learn in the community, you must have clearly established guidelines and boundaries. In addition, someone must have primary responsibility for ensuring that these guidelines and boundaries are followed. Without this, chaos ensues and meaningful learning is limited. Moreover, interactions become toxic.
This is one of the takeaways that youth often struggle with. They are developing their identities. They have lots of great ideas. Sometimes they just want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. Finding a way to incorporate their ideas and allow for their individual identities while maintaining good order is important.
God is a God of order. Youth workers are responsible for order so that healthy community is formed and everyone benefits and learns.
On to # three of the three takeaways
The readiness of your young people for challenges—intellectual and physical
Young people are ready to be challenged both intellectually and physically. Sometimes you’re aware of the physical readiness as you see them volunteering and getting involved in helping others. It’s easier to miss the readiness for intellectual challenge.
These young people attending mini-youTheology listened attentively to seminary professors and asked relevant and general questions. They wanted to know about and understand their faith. They rose to the challenge of new learning.
In addition, when the group went to Osawatomie, KS to do hands-on ministry, they rose to the challenge of weeding and preparing a section of the garden for planting. They worked hard and they worked diligently.
Thinking of these 3 key takeaways from mini-youTheology, what are the young people learning from being around you? How are you setting and maintaining guidelines and boundaries that maintain healthy community and enhance learning? How are you challenging your young people intellectually and physically?