Tag Archives: leadership

to quote someone else: changing culture (Peter Block)

“A shift in the thinking and actions of citizens is more vital than a shift in the thinking and actions of institutions and formal leaders.”

taken from Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block

I read Community several months ago and have been thinking through the implications of its content ever since. This particular quote has generated a lot of pondering and wrestling in my head.

As a youth minister, there are things I want to see changed or focused on within the context of the congregation within which I work. There are attitudes that need adjusting, focuses that need fine-tuned, understanding that needs broadened, lessons that need learned, and apathy that needs shaken. There are even changes that need to happen, but can only happen when there is a shift in the culture. And changing a church culture is no easy task.

As Block points out the best (only?) way to change a culture is to shift the thinking and actions of the people in the community you want to change. What community culture do you want to see shifted?

  • A Sunday School class.
  • The youth ministry.
  • Your volunteer team.
  • Staff dynamics.
  • Church leadership.
  • Awana group.
  • Your small group.
  • Parents of your students.
  • Your family.

Changing any of these communities will take effort and time. If you are a leader of the community, you have a vital role in helping to shift the actions and thinking of the people within the community. You need to be intentional about changing your thinking, actions, and language. Since you want to see the changes, you have already made the mental shift. You might have even made a shift in how you plan, organize or promote things in order to show the shift. But the most important step (and one that gets forgotten by many leaders) is to verbalize and share your thinking on the shift.

Do you need to change how you talk about a topic? It could be as simple as changing the way you promote the Sunday School class. For example, if you want to shift the class to be more about discipleship than fellowship you will need to stop talking about how much “fun” class is and start using phrases that reflect the depth of the studies.

Do you want church to be less about attendance on Sunday and more about living a life for Christ every day? If you are a leader, you need to help the congregation shift their thinking from the one to the other. How can you help people see the Christian life as more than a checklist? A few possibilities include: speaking about the shift from up-front, changing the way you evaluate and discuss the ministry of the church, or spending time sharing the need for the shift with a few “key” people who can help you champion the changes.

What would you add to this conversation? What have you learned about changing culture?

 

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Every Youth Worker Needs: Supportive Leadership

(Youth ministry is not an easy ministry. And in this series, Every Youth Worker Needs:…, I want to highlight a variety of things that might make your ministry a little easier. This ongoing series will include ministry tips, book suggestions, technology helps, and many other nuggets of advice.)

Being a lead youth worker, paid or volunteer, is a very demanding position. You have to make many decisions every day, some that will affect the students for years to come. Sometimes, you do not get time to think about what you need to do, you just have to act. Other times, you have several days, at the least, to think through how best to handle a situation. But no matter how minor or monumental your decision is, you need to have leadership that will support you through it all.

Having supportive leadership does not mean that the other ministers and elders will agree with everything you suggest. Nor does it mean that you will pursue everything you want to. It does mean that you have the ability to discuss ideas openly and freely, knowing they will do what they can to provide the guidance and support you need. This might mean that when you suggest an idea, they gently encourage you to think of another option. Or it will mean that they agree with your suggestion, and encourage you to continue with implementing it.

But the real advantage of supportive leadership comes after a new program is started or another one is ended. Supportive leaders will listen to people’s opinions and respond without degrading your decision. They will also try to help bring clarity and understanding to those who are opposed to something within the youth ministry. A supportive leader will not talk negatively of you, your ability to minister, or the ministry. Anything to the contrary would have already been handled behind “closed doors” and will not be discussed in public.

When a youth worker has supportive leaders, there are 2 crucial changes that occur within the mind of the youth worker: confidence and courage.

Disclaimer: Before I delve into these 2 changes, allow me to say that I firmly believe that God is the one who changes hearts, not the youth worker.

1. Confidence.
I have found from my experience that no matter how much a youth worker strives to follow God’s leading it does not always lead to leading with confidence. You can feel confident that you are following God, but struggle to lead with the same confidence. No matter how “on track” with God you are, when you do not have supportive leadership, you struggle with second guesses and insecurities.

It’s not that you do not believe in the future of the ministry, but you are not confident others will see it the same way. And when you lack the support of the leadership, you can begin to wonder if a change in the ministry will lead to making people upset – which could lead to the leadership deciding it is time for you to move on. The opposite is also true, though. When you are following God’s leading AND backed by the support of the congregational leadership, then you have the confidence to face the obstacles and naysayers head on. You can face them head on because you know that you are not the only person who wants to see the ministry thrive. As your confidence grows, you must keep yourself from becoming arrogant, this level of over-confidence will lead to conflict with the leadership and will likely lead to more damage than you want to handle.

2. Courage.
Besides gaining confidence to handle the post-decision discussions with people, a supportive leadership allows the youth worker to lead with courage. When youth workers have the support of the leaders, they are willing to try new things and take more risks within the youth ministry. You do not have to feel apprehensive about the unknown outcome when you know you will not be facing it alone.

Leading a ministry means you are out in front of those you are leading. And sometimes leading a ministry is scary, but when you have the support of the leadership you do not feel as scared. You should always be following God’s lead in your ministry, but even following God does not mean you do not feel scared. Working with supportive leadership helps a youth worker maintain the courage to make decisions based on God’s leading, not the people’s reactions.

Are you working with supportive leadership?
If you are not, what can you do to move in that direction?
Have you showed your leadership how thankful you are for their support?

(Every Youth Worker Needs: A Blog Series About Things You Need in Youth Ministry)

Journey of starting a new ministry – week 4

(Over the next few months, maybe longer, I will be writing weekly posts on my journey of starting a new youth ministry position. The focus will be on general tips and suggestions for any youth minister starting a new position, but I will add-in moments specific to my situation. My goal is to offer advice to help other youth ministers and not write an online journal of my own personal experiences. In order to make this series of articles as beneficial as I can, I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts. And remember as you read about my journey in a new youth ministry that every situation is different; therefore, these ideas are just ideas and suggestions. You need to know your church culture and adjust your week-by-week to fit those needs.)

Week 4
Last week was about little things, this week was more about surprises.

This was the week I was glad I spent the first few weeks getting my office organized (well, mostly organized). You see, this week I needed to know where certain books were and find old information. I felt like I was really starting to settle into the ministry and spending a lot more time dreaming/planning/ministering during the week. This week was the first week that felt “normal” (if there is such a thing as a normal week for a youth minister) when I think of what I want to do each week. I still know that this is just the beginning and I have a long way to go before I get to where I want to be. To put it another way, this was the first week I did not feel completely new to this position and that surprised me.

Another interesting thing happened to me this week. Last week, I planned two lunch gatherings for the students. Both days went well and I knew I would do it again, maybe every other week. This week I did not plan any lunches, but on two different occasions I had a couple students ask when they were. I did not expect that question, but am glad I was asked. I was planning on continuing with an every other week schedule through the rest of the summer, but might switch to every week – only once a week, instead of twice. These lunches will be a good way to build relationships with the students in a very informal setting.

Another surprising part of the week was when I realized that some aspects of ministry never change. No, I’m not talking about the fact that students don’t change, they just change names. I’m not even talking about the job descriptions or responsibilities placed on a youth minister. I am talking about some of the tendencies and habits a youth minister acquires based on certain situations. Let’s say, for example, a youth worker is undermined and threatened early in his ministry and develops a tendency to be defensive when talking with those in leadership. You would think this behavior would stop when the youth worker is years removed from the incident and at a new location. I was reminded this week that it is not always that easy.

There is one last thing I would suggest you remember at this point in your ministry because it will help with the transition. I would suggest that you intentionally work with those who were planning and organizing the different aspects of the ministry before you arrived. As much as the person might want to just dump the responsibility into your lap, do not let them. Try to work with them and learn from what they were doing. You might just pick up a nugget of wisdom that was learned through mistakes, thus helping you avoid the same mistakes. Wisdom like: making sure you remind teachers it is there month when the first or second of the month lands on a Sunday.

Week 4 Bulletpoints:
– try to meet with the parents of those “exiting” your ministry
– find a small, positive change you can make & make it
– continue making initial contacts with parents
– be visible during the church services

Goals of the near future:
– develop a vision & goals that coincide with those of the entire church
– learn the passion/heart of the youth coaches
– encourage youth coaches
– learn more names




———–
Previous weekly perspectives: week 1, week 2, week 3,

Every Youth Worker Needs: a book genre reading list (or part 2)

(Youth ministry is not an easy ministry. And in this series, Every Youth Worker Needs:…, I want to highlight a variety of things that might make your ministry a little easier. This ongoing series will include ministry tips, book suggestions, technology helps, and many other nuggets of advice.)

Yesterday I said that every youth worker needed to read a variety of literature. Today, I am offering my list of suggested genres that every youth worker should consider reading. Included with each genre is a list of good books that I have read, in case you need something more specific, to help you get started.

1. Leadership
Visioneering by Andy Stanley
Fish by Lundin, Paul, Christensen
The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard and Truett Cathy
Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley
Mazimizing Your Effectiveness by Aubrey Malphurs
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Dip by Seth Godin

2. General Ministry
Church Staff Handbook by Harold Westing
One Size Doesn’t Fit All by Gary McIntosh
Multiple Staff and the Larger Church by Lyle Schaller
In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen

3. Youth Ministry
Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries (my review)
Purpose Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Junior High Ministry by Wayne Rice
Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Hurt by Chap Clark

4. Fiction/Classics
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (looks at death & dying)
Blink by Ted Dekker
Bleachers by John Grisham
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Hadden

5. Theology/Biblical Study
Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics by Walter Kaiser and Moises Silva
60-Second Guide to Denominations by Shelly Steig
Simply Christian by N.T. Wright (my review)
Called to Worship by Vernon Whaley (my review)
Hidden Worldviews by Steve Wilkens and Mark Sanford

6. Christian Living
Unquenchable Worshipper by Matt Redman
Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconell
Soul Survivor by Mike Pilavachi
Restoring Margin to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson & Karen Lee-Thorp

7. Books that make you think
Addiction and Grace by Gerald May
flashBANG by Mark Steele
Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer (my review)
free refill by Mark Atteberry
Culture Making by Andy Crouch (my review)
Signature Sins by Michael Mangis

8. Humor
– since we all laugh at different things, I’m going to let you find your own books that cause you to chuckle. But you do need to make sure you include this into your reading rotation.

If you need any other ideas, you can find some while browsing through the book reviews from this blog.

(Every Youth Worker Needs: A Blog Series About Things You Need in Youth Ministry)

Book Review: New Breed by Jonathan & Thomas McKee

Youth ministry cannot happen without volunteers. They are the very heartbeat of what helps students connect with a loving God. Yet, most lead youth ministers will agree that finding, working with, and training volunteers is one of the toughest parts of youth ministry – if not the toughest. For all of these youth ministers who desire to gain a better grasp on volunteers, Jonathan and Thomas McKee have teamed up to offer a handbook for the 21st Century volunteer.

Thomas has over 40 years of experience in volunteer leadership and Jonathan has a variety of experience working with volunteers in church and para-church ministries. Together they have written a fantastic book on understanding and equipping the new breed of volunteers. This new approach (or philosophy, you might say) to volunteers is needed due to the changes that have taken place among those who volunteer. You cannot approach volunteers like you would a paid staff member, nor can you approach volunteers today the same way you would have 20 years ago. So, how do you approach this new breed of volunteer?

According to the Jonathan and Thomas, there are three different levels to working with volunteers: the recruiter, the manager, and the leader. Each level has aspects that are unchanged by time, but also contain aspects that must be adjusted for the 21st Century volunteer. Being a recruiter means you have to understand those you want to recruit, which is why chapter 1 is so valuable. The next three chapters are focused on how to (and how not to) recruit, along with some tips on where to look for volunteers that you might have otherwise missed.

Being a volunteer manager is about motivating and empowering volunteers. The second section will offer you ample suggestions for doing just that. But, unfortunately, being a volunteer manager is not always that easy. Jonathan and Thomas spend an entire chapter on how to manage (or fire) the high-maintenance volunteer. Finally, there is the aspect of being a volunteer leader. The final two chapters focus on leading a successful group of volunteers. You will find sound advice, encouragement, and helpful tips that you can put into practice within your ministry.

If the book ended on page 140, it would be a fantastic book on working with the new breed of volunteers. But the book does not end there, no it has over 30 more pages of resources. These are samples, suggestions and other reproducible helps that will transition the information from the book into your ministry. This last section transforms this fantastic book into an invaluable ministry resource for youth ministers. Plus, this is not a hard book to read, which is great for the busy youth minister. All of these factors add up to a must-have for any and all youth ministers.

My advice (rating) – go out and buy it (4 out of 5)

Best of ’09: Books

The year 2009 A.D. is almost over. The past 12 months have brought with them many new things; some good, some bad, and some not worth mentioning. I would like to take some time and highlight some of my favorite parts of 2009. I will call this list the “best of ’09” – which simply means that, in my opinion, these are the best items in a certain category. I fully expect you to disagree with some of my choices or to be upset I did not add other items to the list. If you feel this way, please add your “best of ’09” ideas in the comments.

The third list will be books, any book not fitting in the youth ministry category. These are the best books I read this year. Like the youth ministry books, they may not all be new in 2009, but this was the year I got around to reading them. This list is in no particular order and will not include every good book I read this year, just a list of my top reads – the ones I think you would benefit from reading.

Culture Making by Andy Crouch – I really enjoyed this book. It challenged me to think differently about my role in culture and how I need to live differently to make a bigger impact. This is a must read! Here is my review of Culture Making from earlier this year.
Storylines by Andy Croft and Mike Pilavachi – I picked up the non-American version of the book (ie. original published with “crazy spelling”) and am so glad I did. This book takes a look at some of the major themes that run through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Here is my review of Storylines from earlier this year.

Called to Worship by Vernon Whaley – This is a pretty thick book and will take a little while to read, but it is well worth your time. The book takes a look at worship in every section of Scripture, sometimes book by book. I highly recommend you read this book. Here is my review of Called to Worship from earlier this year.

Simply Christian by N.T. Wright – I’ve had this book for a few years and finally got around to reading it this year. A truly, thought-provoking book, filled with in-depth insight and observations. Here is my review of Simply Christian from earlier this year.

Fresh Start by Doug Fields – This book is full of great insight into what it takes to make a fresh start in your life. It is a pretty easy read and would be a great addition to your reading list. Here is my review of Fresh Start from earlier this year.

Treasured by Leigh McLeroy – This has to be the surprise book of the year for me. I did not expect much out of it, but I was completely wrong! A few of the first chapters really stood out to me and helped bring a fresh light to some of my life circumstances. You will want to put this on your reading list for 2010. Here is my review of Treasured from earlier this year.

Like the music and youth ministry book lists, there are some items not on this list that were big this year. Some of them (like Outliers by Gladwell) I want to read, but just haven’t. Add your favorite books from 2009 in the comments and let us know what books we need to pick up and read.

Other posts in this series:
Best of ’09 – Music
Best of ’09 – Youth Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Non-Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Websites used
Best of ’09 – Blog posts
Best of ’09 – Web Apps
Best of ’09 – Ministry Moments
Best of ’09 – Random Favorites

Best of ’09: Youth Ministry Books

The year 2009 A.D. is almost over. The past 12 months have brought with them many new things; some good, some bad, and some not worth mentioning. I would like to take some time and highlight some of my favorite parts of 2009. I will call this list the “best of ’09” – which simply means that, in my opinion, these are the best items in a certain category. I fully expect you to disagree with some of my choices or to be upset I did not add other items to the list. If you feel this way, please add your “best of ’09” ideas in the comments.

The second list will be youth ministry books. These are the best youth ministry related books I read this year. They may not all be new in 2009, but this was the year I got around to reading them. This list is in no particular order and will not include every good book I read this year, just a list of my top reads – the ones I found most helpful.


Youth Ministry 3.0
by Mark Oestreicher – I picked up this book in 2008, but did not actually get around to reading it until early this year. Oestreicher writes about many of the struggles and thoughts felt by many youth workers around the country. Whether you agree with everything int he book (and you won’t), you need to read it and be challenged to see youth ministry from a different angle. Here is my review of Youth Ministry 3.0.

Help! I’m a Frustrated Youth Worker! by Steve Case – This book is small and easy to read. Most youth workers will relate to the frustrations Case writes about. I recommend reading this book, even if you only need a reminder that your situation is not “that bad.” Here is my review of Help! I’m a Frustrated Youth Worker.

Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries – Every youth worker wants to be part of a youth ministry that is sustainable. Devries knows a few things about sustainable youth ministries – he has been working with youth ministries across the country for years. This book is a must read for anyone working in a youth ministry of any size and shape. Here is my review of Sustainable Youth Ministry.

Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins – Doug and Duffy have written a great resource for anyone who speaks to teenagers. This book is packed with useful information and helpful tips. Here is my review of Speaking to Teenagers.

99 Thoughts for Youth Workers by Josh Griffin – This little book has a lot of great thoughts inside. Josh collected his thoughts on youth ministry, which were written in journals, on napkins (I’m guessing a few of these were once on a napkin), and from his blog. This is especially useful if you are new to youth ministry or feel like you are stuck in a rut. Here is my review of 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers.

The New Breed by Jonathan McKee and Thomas McKee – I’m actually only 2/3 of the way through this book, but so far I think it is a great read. Every youth worker, who works with volunteers, needs to read this book and apply the principles.

As you can see, I spent a lot of time this year catching up on youth ministry books that I had not read. Expect to see some 2009 releases in the 2010 “best of” list, as I am sure I’ll get them read by then.

What youth ministry books would you add to this list? (or what books should I add to my 2010 reading list?)

Other posts in this series:
Best of ’09 – Music
Best of ’09 – Youth Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Non-Ministry Books
Best of ’09 – Websites used
Best of ’09 – Blog posts
Best of ’09 – Web Apps
Best of ’09 – Ministry Moments
Best of ’09 – Random Favorites

Book Review: 99 Thoughts for Youth Workers by Josh Griffin


There are two things you need to be aware of before you read 99 Thoughts on Youth Ministry. First, the title is a lie, because this little book is filled with 113 nuggets of youth ministry knowledge, not 99. Second, as you read through the pages you might notice that Griffin seems to be writing to a very specific audience, even more specific than say the average youth worker. In fact, based on this section from the description I would say he’s writing with his ministry team and atmosphere in mind: “Over the past couple of years Josh has been journaling his youth ministry learnings in his Moleskine and on his blog. The good, the bad and the ugly – this is a collection of those thoughts.”

I think the fact that Griffin is currently “in the trenches,” and writing about what he knows, gives this book a little extra boost of character and authenticity. 99 Thoughts is more than a random collection of ramblings, it is a categorized peek into the youth ministry thoughts of a youth worker who passionately strives to serve students and help other youth workers be more effective. You will find thoughts in four areas: vision & leadership, programs & people, small groups & events, and everyday ministry. Within these sections, each thought is short and to the point, making the book as a whole short and to the point.

99 Thoughts is a great youth worker stocking stuffer (or if you feel uncomfortable stuffing a youth worker’s stocking, you can just slide it under the door). Anyone currently working in youth ministry can benefit from reading this book. The rookie youth worker can learn from Griffin’s experience, and possibly avoid a mistake or two of her own. And since you can read this book while eating lunch it is not intimidating to a youth worker who already feels overwhelmed with responsibilities. Veteran youth workers can also glean from these pages, as each thought will serve as a reminder or encouragement.

I highly recommend getting a copy of this book for every member of your youth ministry team. You can either encourage them to read the whole thing on their own or use it as part of your team meetings (discussing one section at a time). Regardless of how you use it, I believe your ministry will benefit from the 113 thoughts found within these pages.

My advice (rating) – buy more than one and give out copies (5 out of 5)

5 Year Youth Ministry Contract: Students (5 of 5)

This is post #5 of the 5 Year Youth Ministry Contract. If you have not already read the first four posts, you’ll want to read them before reading this one. Read the introduction first, followed by my thoughts on the youth minister difference, my thoughts on the church leadership & staff difference and then my thoughts on the church membership difference.

In this post, we will look at the difference a five-year commitment would make for the students.

The Students Difference

Anyone who has been in youth ministry for more than a few years knows that the best ministry happens after you have been at the same place for an extended period of time.

This might be the biggest difference of any we’ve talked about so far. I think the students will greatly benefit from knowing the youth minister will be there for at least five years. Will it make it easy for them to open up emotionally right away? No. But it will make it easier for them to trust the youth minister and know this relationship will last more than six months.

Students are used to people coming in and out of their life, which causes some of them to shut down emotionally and relationally. They do not want to open up and allow an adult to know what they really struggle with if they do not know they adult will be around in nine months. When a student knows the youth minister will be around for years, they do not have to worry about having another broken relationship with someone who claimed to care about them.

Beyond the improvement in the student/youth minister relationships, I think there is an even greater benefit for the students – one they will not immediately identify. In fact, this benefit might be one they are never able to verbalize until well after they are out of the youth ministry. The unidentifiable benefit is the intentional long-range planning for the ministry; including a systematic progression of lessons, purposeful retreats and events and an intentional discipleship ministry. Not to mention the improved ministry of the volunteers, thanks to more training and encouragement.

As students remain with the same youth minister year after year, there will be more opportunities for ministry. When talking with their friends, the students will talk highly of the youth minister and create some instant credibility among their peers. This credibility will allow the youth minister more access to minister to those friends and become a positive influence into their lives. The more students and friends of students are benefiting from the youth ministry, the impact of the youth ministry will increase exponentially. And when a tragedy occurs, the students in the community will know they can turn to your youth ministry for support and direction.

One last benefit comes from a deepening of the relationship between the youth minister and the students. As the relationships grow, I believe it will result in more memories for the students. There will be more opportunities for ongoing jokes, funny moments and more laughter. And this increased joy at youth ministry events will not only benefit the students, but also the youth minister and other adults involved.

Are there negatives for the students?

One of the only negatives I can think of would happen for those students entering high school after the youth minister’s fifth year of ministry. They would be entering into a high school ministry ready to minister to their needs, but there would be no guarantee the youth minister will be there for their graduation.

What other differences do you think a five year commitment would make for the students?
Do you think the students would benefit from having a youth minister with this commitment to a local ministry?

Posts in this series:
1. The Introduction
2. The Youth Minister Difference
3. The Church Leadership/Staff Difference
4. The Church Membership Difference
5. The Students Difference

5 Year Youth Ministry Contract: Church Members (4 of 5)

This is post #4 of the 5 Year Youth Ministry Contract. If you have not already read the first three posts, you’ll want to read them before reading this one. Read the introduction first, followed by my thoughts on the youth minister difference and then my thoughts on the church leadership & staff difference.

In this post, we will look at the difference a five-year commitment would make for the church membership.

The Church Membership Difference

It can be difficult for church members to be quick to fully welcome a new youth minister on staff. When the church has a history of having multiple ministers with short stays, it becomes an automatic disadvantage for any new youth minister entering into ministry at this church. Most members assume the new youth minister will only stay long enough to find another ministry, like past youth ministers have done. I think a five year youth minister contract would offer many benefits for these members.

Knowing someone is going to be around for a few years allows you start the relationship with a little more trust than normal. Most members will not question the youth minister’s motives or actions as often as they otherwise would. Being able to have this higher level of trust for the youth minister will allow the members to support and encourage the efforts and changes being made by the youth ministry team.

I believe the willingness to volunteer within the youth ministry would increase. From my experience, I have seen that some people are apprehensive to volunteer to work in an area where they do not know the leader well or where they feel the leadership might change often. This apprehension would be countered with the five year contract. Think about the difference it would make to have a stronger group of volunteers at the beginning of your ministry. Not only would the youth ministry benefit and grow, but the congregation gets a huge benefit: more members using their gifts and doing ministry.

Finally, I think this five year contract would give the members a sense of relief. Most members do not know what expectations/requirements are put on the youth minister by the church leadership. This contract would give them the reassurance that a certain level of ministry professionalism will be kept in the youth ministry. The members will still not completely understand what all is entailed in the youth ministry, but this will be a good start to help them understand that youth ministry is more than just glorified babysitting.

Are there negatives for the church members?

Since the youth minister will be around for a few years, there might be some members who will not work hard at getting to know him. The assumption might be that there is plenty of time to get to know the new youth minister, so why put effort into it now. Someone else might think that the only reason the youth minister spends time with the students is because its in the contract. And there might be someone who decides their help is not needed within the youth ministry, because the youth minister is going to be here for a few years.

What other differences do you think a five year commitment would make for the church members?
Do you think the church members would benefit from having a youth minister with a five year commitment to a local ministry?

Posts in this series:
1. The Introduction
2. The Youth Minister Difference
3. The Church Leadership/Staff Difference
4. The Church Membership Difference
5. The Students Difference