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Effective Youth Ministry in the 21 st Century. Missionary Baptist State Youth Fellowship Mid Winter Conference November 22, 2008 Facilitator: The Rev. Shaun Ellison Jones, Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries Baptist General Convention of Virginia. Workshop Objectives.

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Effective Youth Ministry in the 21 st Century

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Effective Youth Ministry in the 21st Century

Missionary Baptist State Youth Fellowship

Mid Winter Conference

November 22, 2008

Facilitator: The Rev. Shaun Ellison Jones,

Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Baptist General Convention of Virginia

Workshop Objectives

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to

  • Identify the purpose of Ministry To and For Youth.

  • Utilize their church’s (context) demographic in the development of their youth ministry.

  • Assess the effectiveness of their youth workers

  • Develop spiritually mature youth

  • Assist their youth as they deal with BIG problems

  • Create a culturally relevant yet reverent youth ministry.

  • Ministry for Young People to Young People by Young People and Adults.

  • Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry

    • Discipleship- educating God’s people with the Truth

    • Evangelism- communicating the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t yet have a personal relationship with God.

    • Fellowship- incorporating God’s people into a family where they can be known, cared for, held accountable, and encouraged.

    • Ministry- demonstrating God’s love by meeting the needs of others with love.

    • Worship- celebrating God’s presence and honoring him with our lifestyles

  • What do these purposes look like in your ministry?

Purpose of Ministry to/for Youth

Purpose of Ministry to/for Youth

  • Scripture: Matthew 19:13-15

    • The important point is that Jesus places an EMPHASIS on ministering to children … even when the adults thought they would not be a significant ministry focus for Him.

  • There are still many churches where children and youth are not treated with the level of SIGNIFICANCE and RELEVANCE as they should. There is sometimes a subtle (sometimes not too subtle), indication that young people are really not the focus of church. There is an element of: “Run along kids and go and play – this is for grown-ups.”

  • We should not be satisfied to have youth ministry as a “HOLY-HUDDLE” of Christian kids getting together each week but a ministry where UNCHURCHED youth would want to be apart.

  • Urban Locations

    • Limited Mobility- public transportation might be student’s only way to youth group activities.

    • Acute Family problems- young single mothers, absentee father and often grandparents and other family members are guardians.

    • Violence- for inner city kids, it’s a daily concern, and they may be afraid to attend youth group events because of it.

    • High Student Turnover- youth group kids may not stick around because of their parents’ employment situations or other family problems.

Understanding Your Demographics

  • Rural Locations

    • Tiny numbers- there aren’t many families to draw from (yet)

    • Paid youth Workers? Ha!-sometimes small rural churches can’t even afford part-time youth workers for the few kids in attendance. Violence-for inner-city kids, it’s a daily concern, and they may be afraid to attend youth group events because of it

    • Travel problems- distances between friends, schools, and church can be huge, and bad weather will add to the difficulty of these long trips.

    • Schools and Community involvement- schools and communities for better or worse, may desire involvement in church youth programs.

    • Seasonal Event- harvest time, county fairs, local parades, high school sports, are highly important.

Understanding Your Demographics

Reverend Shaun Jones, BGC Dir. of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

  • High Quality Adult Volunteers (1st Samuel 16:7)

    • Be selective when choosing adult volunteers

      • Invite don’t recruit

      • Persons should not feel forced

      • Age/ gender/ occupation should not limit volunteers

    • Look for those who will help teenagers grow spiritually

      • Encourage current leaders and youth to identify potential volunteers

      • Don’t overlook or overuse parents

      • Spiritual giftedness and talents

    • Provide a job description

      • Roles and responsibilities

      • Commitment and Time =Stewardship

Essentials for a Ministry Team

  • Look for those who will provide a safe place for youth

    • Background checks & screenings

    • Inappropriate Relationship

      • Develop a plan if physical interaction takes place

      • Develop a plan if sexual misconduct takes place

    • Develop a plan for disciplinary actions

    • Code of Silence

  • Training (Proverbs 2:6, 9-10)

    • Helps the entire team catch the vision

    • Determines volunteers’ areas of specificity

    • Have old volunteers mentor new volunteers

    • Internal training periodically

    • External workshops/training

Essentials for a Ministry Team

  • One major reason young people leave the church is lack of INVOLVEMENT.

  • So too, we are to make the call to young people to follow Christ, and to DISCIPLE them, and EMPOWER them to do ministry.

  • Train them and have them do REAL ministry, not just token positions. (Matthew 4: 18-20)

Getting Youth On Board

“In Christianity, we tend to have great OBSTETRICS, but lousy PEDIATRICS.”

  • We tend to like to put on big events, or evangelistic outreaches, have kids raise their hands, come forward, sign the decision card – all good things – but with no real MEANS OR PLAN to make sure they are followed-up. Sometimes we don’t even have enough staff or volunteers to ensure that they even could be followed up.

  • And significant results in ministry can only take place with a LONG-TERM commitment to it.

Helping Youth Grow Spiritually

  • What does spiritual Growth Mean?

    • Ephesians 4:13

  • Questions to ponder?

    • Does our worship invited them to relate with god through Jesus Christ?

    • Does our bible study or Sunday school class help them grow in knowledge of God and of God’s says in the world?

  • There must be a balance between spiritual growth, learning, and fun, so what is it?

    • This depends on the mean age of the youth ministry, there level of maturity in the faith, and where you feel comfortable leading them.

Helping Youth Grow Spiritually

Helping Youth Grow Spiritually

  • Practical means to achieve spiritual growth

    • Prayer- both private and public

    • Biblical Study

    • Regular Worship with the congregation that is meaningful and comprehendible.

    • Regular participation in the Lord’s Supper.

    • Christian conversation, by which he mean being involved in a group where people both support one another in their faith struggles and hold one another accountable when they are less than faithful.

    • Missionary Work- meeting needs with God’s love.

  • Pray, seeking God’s wisdom to minister not counsel

  • Be AVAILABLE (be close enough to talk without being their friend)

  • Be aware of your issues (it may affect your ability to minister)

  • Be encouraged because all of us are “Wounded-Healers”

  • Be a good, empathetic listener

  • Be OPEN! Not judgmental or condescending

  • AFFIRM, ENCOURAGE AND MOTIVATE while ministering

  • If possible be prepared to involve Pastor, Parents, and Professional help

Helping Youth Deal with Big Problems

Reverend Shaun Jones, BGC Dir. of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

  • Make sure your Bible study/Sunday school is purposeful and relevant to BIG issues from a scriptural standpoint (Not Your OWN)

  • Be resourceful, It takes a Village to Raise a Child/Teen

    • Develop relationships with parents, teachers, counselors, etc…

    • Keep a handbook of resources for teens regarding…housing, scholarships, medical care, substance abuse, crisis intervention and prevention, etc…

    • Form relationships with other Youth Workers

  • Be aware of issues that youth are facing

    • Sexuality, violence/gang activity, eating disorders, suicide, pornography, substance abuse, depression

    • Enter into their culture (hip-hop, technology)

  • Pray, seeking God’s Wisdom.

Helping Youth Deal with Big Problems

Reverend Shaun Jones, BGC Dir. of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

A Biblical Framework for a Relevant Youth Ministry

“The Bible not only endorses adapting the presentation of the gospel message to be culturally-sensitive, but DEMANDS it!”

- Tommy Carrington-

A Biblical Framework for a Relevant Youth Ministry

  • I heard it said so often that we are not supposed to

    “ENTERTAIN” kids.

  • It is merely a tool to “hold their ATTENTION.”

  • The rest of the program is solidly BIBLICALLY based.

  • In fact, we do have “BIBLICAL PERMISSION” to be culturally relevant and contemporary. There is a Biblical rationale for being contemporary.

A Biblical Framework for a Relevant Youth Ministry

I Corinthians 9: 19-23 (NIV)

19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.


Guiding Principles for A Biblical and Relevant Youth Ministry

  • Principle # 1: Our priority must be LOYALTY to the Gospel of Christ.

    • You must ensure that with your means of creativity, you NEVER compromise or water down the MESSAGE of the Gospel.

  • Principle #2: Our STRATEGY must include a FLEXIBILITY in proclaiming the GOSPEL.

“We cannot be effective if we continue to cling to the old ways, the old strategies, the old assumptions. We do not live in that era, and we cannot be effective if we behave in a manner relevant only to the past.”

George Barna, Evangelism that Works

Youth Ministry in A Box

  • Devotions /Opening

  • Announcements

  • Offering

  • Message

  • Closing / Altar call

  • Dismissal

  • Send everyone home

Youth Ministry Outside the Box

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Creative Games

Video Clips


Interactive Discussions

Contemporary Christian Music


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