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The Importance of Community

If we are not careful, we can let leadership isolate us. We don't intend to, but there is added responsibility that others might not have. There is added accountability that others might not have. There may be extra knowledge that others might not be trusted with. There is an intrinsic risk related to people knowing our weaknesses or struggles. If not handled correctly, these things (and more) can isolate us.

Adjusting To The Rhythm

I had a conversation with a younger leader a while ago. He was bemoaning the lack of spirituality in his life. His benchmark was from a few years earlier when he was single and would meet with a couple of friends to pray for 30 mins to an hour each morning. His current life involved running a business, his wife and three kids under the age of four, as well as church involvement. And those friends had also moved out of town.

I gently pointed out to him that while that season of more intense seeking is admirable, he needed to embrace the current season, and its new rhythm. Rather than just remember the "good old days", he needed to discover what was viable now.

The Value of Community

Western thinking would try to have us focus on the aspects of our faith that are based on individuality. There are some valid aspects to our faith that are individual. Each of us needs to choose faith in Jesus Christ. We can not be saved by someone else's faith. There may be things in our lives and past that God is dealing with as part of your journey in this moment. Things that he is not dealing with in the lives of others in this season.

But we can't ignore the community aspect of our faith and spirituality. It was not by accident that God designed us to be born into families. It is no accident that the Bible gives imagery of a family (1 TIm 5:1-2).

How complete is your family? How complete is your community?

Devotion, Study or Preparation

For those in ministry, it can be a blurry line between our personal devotional time and ministry activities. When we approach our quiet times with God, ministry responsibilities come along with us. And in those seasons when ministry responsibilites weigh heavier, it may be all that we are bringing into our times with God.

Schedule Your Sabbath

The idea of a Sabbath day each week for many may seem practically impossible. For many youth leaders I know, they are spare time youth leaders. They work 40+ hours at paid employment outside of ministry. They volunteer their spare time to lead the youth group. They have other responsibilities with family and church etc. So the idea of finding a whole day each week where they rest and connect with God seems unlikely.

Inviting Volunteers To Partner In Youth Ministry

One of the ongoing tasks of a leader is to find and "recruit" good leaders and volunteers.

Here is one suggested process when you need leaders or volunteers

The Importance of Perseverance

In youth ministry, perseverance is an important attribute to develop and maintain. The definition of perseverance is persistence in doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

In ministering to any group, especially teenagers, it requires perseverance. That ability to push through hard moments, or to continue to serve, love and lead when you feel like there is no positive change.

Developing an EPIC Generation - Connected

This is the last part of our EPIC Generation series. We have covered  ExperientialParticipatory and Image-Rich, and today we will close off with Connected.

You can not deny that this is a connected generation. For as long as I have been in youth ministry, teenagers have been social creatures, some of them struggle with this area but it is part of this stage. They often define themselves by the people they choose to hang out with (and the ones they choose not to hang with) but with the introduction of social media, smart phones etc, this has taken on a different level.

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Developing an EPIC Generation - Image-Rich

Humans are naturally visual creatures, but never before has a generation been bombarded with so many images. Between TV, internet, mobile phones, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc, young people are seeing and processing a huge number of images, and not just images, but images with messages. The research shows that we retain about 20% of what we received as images/media, and so in a world where young people are used to seeing pictures and videos, we need to make use of meaningful images.

Developing an EPIC Generation - Participatory

Young people upload their thoughts and want to be heard, they participate in family decisions around food, holidays etc. To keep them engaged, we need to find ways to help them participate in meaningful ways. Not only does participating engage them more, it helps them learn and grow.

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