Staying the Course………………..Tom Schwolert

Aside from the pure grace of God, there are two main reasons that I have survived in youth ministry.  These reasons are people, people who love me and people who love youth ministry.  I believe that in order to “stay the course” in youth ministry, you have to have these two groups of people in your life.  You can’t do youth ministry in isolation.  I regularly gather with other youth ministry friends so that we can support each other.  This is essential for survival.  I also develop a team of people who really have a passion for young people to know God.  Both of these groups of people not only create a supportive environment but they are also great people with whom to share ideas and dreams.  I just had lunch with eight other youth ministers, and we looked over the nine faith outcomes from the EYM study together.  We talked about which outcomes we are most passionate about and where we are challenged.  It was one of the richest conversations about youth ministry that I have had in a while.  I left encouraged and inspired.  Two ideas that can help “stay the course” are to talk about the results of the study with your peers and also talk about the results with your youth ministry team in your congregation.  Gathering a number of people around a common vision can be a powerful way to “stay the course.”

Tom Schwolert is Director of Youth & Family Ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Flower Mound, TX.  He has been doing full time youth ministry for 22 years and is the author of “Full Circle: Triple A Training.”

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