Posts Tagged ‘ Youth Leadership ’

Snapshot from an EYM Church

With no budget for a paid youth director, and no expectation of hiring one, the YOUNG PEOPLE at St. Michael’s Parish in Albion Nebraska decided,  “now is the acceptable time” for a thriving youth ministry and their parents, adult volunteers and priest followed. Could the genius of this ministry be the parish’s ability to accept and encourage student leadership?  Perhaps…the young people revitalized this ministry and the current activities need the initiative of students.

Could the genius of this ministry be in the longevity and sense of call of its youth coordinator? Perhaps . . .The Youth Coordinator and his all volunteer team has been working with young people in this parish for more than 15 years keeping the vision of a thriving youth ministry alive through the lean times.

Could the genius of this youth ministry be in the support it gets from families and parents? Perhaps . . . this is a community  which strongly values family life. Could the genius of this youth ministry be in its interlocking practices?  Perhaps . . . all the components serve to draw and keep young people flowing through relationships that give them opportunities to study and serve.

The genius here could be each of these as well as the interwoven sum of them all that serve to create a culture of ministry in which young people are allowed, even needed to be the church of today.  There is no waiting for someone who can come and do it better, no waiting for the young people to become adults before they take on significant roles in the life of this parish.

“See, now is the acceptable time; see now is the day of salvation!  We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way so that no fault may be found with our ministry.”  2 Corinthians 6:2-3.

Youth Leadership……………………………………..Kristen Baltrum

One of the places that churches have been trying for years to incorporate young people has been in congregational leadership—like search teams, or even a token youth position on the church council.  We all know that it mostly hasn’t worked.  But sometimes it does.  It has blossomed in new ways at my church as we are pushing to integrate young people.

We have incredible young leaders here in our congregation, one of whom is being mentored by a young adult who is our incoming Youth Ministry Representative on the church council. Together they make a great team, and the time was right to include this teenager, alongside this young adult, on our council. So they were voted in as a team.  But what happened at the annual meeting brought tears to my eyes. Not only were these two gladly welcomed into official leadership roles but then an older member of the congregation stood up and gave a shout out to another teen who has been serving on our Intern committee all year.

The room applauded loudly. Then, when the next nominating committee was being formed, another older member nominated one of our jr. high students to be on the committee. She accepted the position. I sat back and watched this congregation affirm it’s young leaders with tears in my eyes. This was no longer about TOKEN positions set aside for youth, it was a natural process of recognizing leaders period.  No longer was the message about apprenticing youth into leadership being preached, it was being lived.

Kristen Baltrum has been working in Youth Ministry for seventeen years, and she doesn’t even look it.  She serves and lives in Longmont, CO.