Preparing for Ministry

This summer my wife and I took a break from our high school small group with the rest of the small groups in the church. I hated to do it because I think consistency is more important to teens than most other things and even if we have one show up, that is an opportunity to focus better on that one. So for the summer months we would have no small groups at all. Wow, what will we do with all that time? Well, somehow we managed to fill it up with other stuff and I have to be honest, the break was great. I don't have to be happy about it but I have been able to re-focus my thoughts and mind back on how this ministry should run and less on keeping up to run it. I have been able to prepare for the spiritual battles and set up healthy boundaries in some areas. It has been a great summer thus far and I have one more month before things officially get started again, so how should I use this time?

Before I answer that, the back story to my approach on youth ministry comes from a friend of mine being let go from his position as a youth pastor because of a revelation given to him about how a youth ministry should be done. Later, this same idea was echoed by the people down south with the idea of thinking "Orange." Now whether you call it "Youth Ministry Redux" or "Re-Think" I don't care, I call it statistical logic and societal changes. Although it is weird to say it, youth ministry is about the parent more than the student. How do you reach a student and totally affect their lives? Reach the parent and show them how.  So this summer, a parent of one of my core students said, "it is great how we can work together and raise our kids the right way as a team, because that is what it really is like you know. They need different people in their lives." I have thought about that statement for like days now. The fact is, this particular parent has more to offer me about parenting than I could ever imagine having to offer... ever!

OK. Stay with me here, fast forward back to this post, how do I use this time? Well with "family ministries" popping up everywhere all of a sudden, yes even my own church hopped on the wagon. Everyone is all of a sudden in love with this idea but no-body can actually tell you what it really means or more importantly what it looks like. So here is what I have envisioned for this next year of small group. I am going to use this time to get things ready for the parents, resources, avenues of communication, and ways to build relationships with them. I am going to figure out how to work together with them, in a healthy way, that will not impact the relationship with their students and assume the role of fellow guardian as they assume the same role with me and my children. Basically, I need to let everyone involved know, that this is not my show, we are all in this together and statistically I am just a commercial break in their students life.  I will have to let you know how it goes in May.

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