Simply Youth Ministry is giving away 40 free backgrounds in the midst of their biggest sale of the year. All you have to do is go here and click the 40/40/40 link to take you to the page where you can download free backgrounds. These backgrounds can be used for PowerPoint slides, announcements, worship backgrounds, and flyers. Go, download, and spread the word!
Download the free backgrounds by clicking here!
Over the last 2 years, I have learned a lot about youth leaders. I have learned a lot from them, and a lot about recruiting them. Here are a few things that the youth pastor must look into when recruiting youth leaders.
- Personal Growth- You must have them actively growing as a follower of Jesus or you cannot expect the students in their small group to grow personally.
- Faithfulness- I am looking to recruit leaders who are faithful. The ones who come to youth group, but also the main church services as well regularly. Usually, if they are not faithful, the students under them will not be faithful either.
- Uncritical- If there is one thing that I HATE, it is critical spirits. I want to improve by looking at some positive instead of always pointing out the negative. I want leaders who believe in their students. I want leaders who do not criticize the way things are done. I want leaders who do not criticize students for their trendy culture either.
- Relational- This is key. Students crave relationships (believe it or not, even from their youth leaders). You must have leaders who are intentional about building relationships with students in and outside of youth group.
- Integrity- I want character from our youth leaders. Honesty is important. You must have a leader who has integrity. Students must see integrity.
It seems like a regular occurrence that I hear about a youth pastor or a youth leader messing up with a teenager sexually. It is sad, but it is the reality. The reality is simple. Anyone of us could fall into this type of trouble without boundaries. Boundaries are there to protect us. Here are a few boundaries for youth leaders (particularly males):
- Do not find yourself in a car alone with the opposite sex- This is a no brainer. A male leader does not need to take girls home by himself. Find a female leader to do that. There are lady leaders out there who would do this for you. This is a boundary that will prevent you. It is that “above approach” boundary that no one could even question your relationship with a teenager in the wrong way. Also, do not find yourself alone with a person of the opposite sex in a room.
- Be careful not to build stronger relationships with the opposite sex- Girls tend to naturally open up (especially to guys). Guys, be careful. If you are a youth leader who walks in and gravitates directly to the girls in the room to talk to them before the guys, that is a potential problem. It is okay to befriend the girls, but your main priority should be the guys you are ministering too (specifically speaking to the males).
- Physical Contact- I used to have an “absolute NO physical contact” policy between leaders and students of the opposite sex. I now have taken some discretion, and allowed hugging, but even that should have boundaries. Be careful with the appearance. Also, young girls feed off of older men so be careful that you are not allowing a hug to become flirty. I personally give a one-armed hug, but I do not look to give hugs.
- Do not counsel the opposite sex- Now, if you are the student pastor, it is fine, but have your wife with you. I do not discuss serious matters with girls unless my wife is present. I want to protect myself, and I do not ever want to give the wrong impression to the teen girl as well. Do not be up late at night texting/facebooking/tweeting the opposite sex. I do not want my teen girls to know that they are more on my mind late into the night than my family. There are emergency exceptions in student ministry, but this should not be an every night occurrence.
- Stay out of Drama- This is my least favorite part about youth ministry. I despise drama, but it comes with the territory in student ministry. I recognize that students will find themselves in drama (mainly girls). If you are a guy leader who is into the teen girl drama, that is a problem. I hear way too much as the youth pastor, but I try to defer the drama to my wife or another female youth worker. I also do not care about every detail of the drama either. I do not want to give anyone the impression that I am into teen drama
What boundaries do you recommend?
I was just thinking about a job description this morning, and if I was truly being effective in the expectations given in a student ministry job description. Here is a short sample of a job description for every student pastor:
- Maintain a growing active relationship with Jesus Christ
- Keep your family before the ministry
- Attend church faithfully (however often your church has services)
- Support the senior pastor’s leadership
- Build relationships with the students
- Train, recruit, and equip a team of leaders
- Encourage, partner, and train parents of students
- Stay up to date on youth culture and youth trends
- Seek to build a family ministry and not just a student ministry
- Be organized
- Be a planner (plan ahead- no less than 6 months out, preferably a year out)
- Work within the budget given
- Work to get into the public school system
- Stay relevant
What would you add to the job description of a student pastor? Obviously each church will have some individual descriptions that differ slightly from this one, but these should be the same across the board.
Good Friday morning Parents,
I hope that you are doing well today. Some of you are stressing out for your kids as we finish the end of the school year. Exams are upon us, and I am praying for your student to finish strong. We are also looking forward to the summer. The summer is a fun time in our youth ministry. We will have service each Wednesday night (unless otherwise noted), and usually will have a game afterward. We will text the students if it is going to be a water game. I encourage parents to ENCOURAGE your kids to stay faithful through the summer program. We have a lot of fun stuff planned for the summer.
Parent Resource: Once again, I am sharing a blog post for your reading. It is about music. The post is entitled, “What ITunes reveals about teenagers.” I encourage you to check it out. This is a bit of an older article that I came across this week. All of us are drawn to music, and it is important that we have an idea of the music that is available for our students. It is quite scary. Click here to read the article.
May 22- No Grove- Baccalaureate service in main auditorium at 7:00 pm
May 29- Summer Sizzlers begin- new schedule is 6:30-8:00 pm
Our next leadership meeting: Our next leadership meeting will be on Sunday, May 26th. This will be after the pm service, and I highly encourage all leaders to attend. Don’t miss since this is the last meeting of the Word of Life year. We will not have a meeting until August.
Our Upcoming Events:
- May 28 – Cook out at Pastor Josh’s & Mrs. Abby’s for rising 7th-8th graders – This event will be a free cookout for all families of these grades. We will have soccer, volleyball, and corn hole going for the families. Bring your own lawn chair. Please R.S.V.P. to Pastor Josh by Sunday, May 26th.
- June 1 – Alpine Bible Camp Golf Tournament – This will be held at Lexington Country Club. All proceeds will go to benefit the students attending Alpine Bible Camp this summer. Please go here for more information.
- June 3 – Chick Fil A Camp – This is to benefit those going to Alpine Bible camp. Please come out to Chick Fil A on Peter’s Creek Parkway from 5-8 pm to support the students. Do not forget to tell the cashier that you are with Union Grove.
- June 5 – Church Wide Fellowship Meal – This is to benefit the students going to Alpine Bible Camp this summer. The meal will be served in the cafeteria from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
- July 8-13 – Alpine Bible Camp – On July 8-13, we will be changing the location of youth camp. For years, we have attended Word of Life Camp in Hudson, FL, and we are going to change that up and attend Alpine camp in West Virginia. It is closer and less expensive so hopefully many of your students can attend. Let me encourage you to make this a priority for your student. I understand that we are busy, but this can be a life changing and extremely fun event for your student, and they will come back different from when they went. The cost is $260.00 per student, and leaders can go for $100.00. Activities include white water rafting, paintball, rope climbing, rock climbing, and much more. Hope your student makes plans to attend. R.S.V.P. via facebook here! We will have a meeting with all those attending and their parents on Sunday night, April 14th.
- July 25-27 – Love our City – We are working on the logistics of this event, but the event will begin Thursday morning, July 25th and conclude Saturday evening, July 27th. We are ironing out the cost of the event (estimated- $60), but it is going to be extremely fun and missional. We will be going to Carowinds, Trampoline Park, and serving in the community for this event. We also will be playing Capture the Flag as well.
- August 2 – Leadership Seminar – This will be held at the fellowship hall that evening. Dinner will be served. All Grove leaders for the next year need to be in attendance as we discuss ideas and vision for the upcoming year.
- August 21 – Word of Life Kick Off @ The Grove – This is always an exciting night as we kick off the Grove for another year.
- October 19 – Liberty Football Game and Scaremare – We will be going to Liberty University for their football homecoming game and then going to their Scaremare. We will get the cost to you soon. We will be leaving the church at 12:00 noon and returning at midnight.
I am trying to keep you as informed as possible! I hope that this newsletter helps you. Remember to contact your students outside of Wednesday night’s every single week. This is extremely important in seeing life change in the lives of the students. It is through relationships. I pray for you regularly, and love serving with you. If you ever need anything, let me know. We are always here to assist you guys in ministering and in life in general.
In His Service,
Student Pastor, Union Grove Baptist Church
Web: ugbconline.com Blog: joshhevans.com
Connect with Josh:
Here are a few things that I want all of my students to graduate out of our youth group knowing:
- Students should have a good knowledge of the Bible- I want my students to have an understanding of most of the Bible. They should know the Gospel, they should know theology, they should know how the Bible should relate to themselves.
- Students should know how to have a personal relationship with Jesus- Hopefully, they have seen this modeled in my life as their leader, but also in their home as well as their small group leader. I want every student to graduate knowing how to have a daily relationship with Jesus.
- Students should know how to share their faith- Students should know the Gospel by the time that they graduate, and it is up to us to train and equip them to know how to share the Gospel.
- Students should know how to worship- I want every student to know how to worship, and I want them to understand that worship is a personal thing that we can experience every single day.
I am always trying to improve my leadership development. I am 28 years old so I have a long way to go. Here are a few things that I am trying to work on this year in improving my leadership development.
- Time Management- I am trying to schedule my time more effectively. If we are not careful, we can have many things to do, and not get any of them done. Why? it could be a time management issue. Do not waste your time, but be a good steward of your time.
- Writing More- One thing that I have learned about leadership is the principle of writing. I always made fun of journals, but blogging is a journal in and of itself. I am trying to blog consistently and in a scheduled format. Also, I have a long term goal of compiling some posts into an eventual book one day.
- Prepare Sermons Earlier- I am tired of preparing sermons last-minute. I usually have been decent about this, but want to get better. Pastors, do not prepare your sermon the weekend that you preach it. That should be for final prayer and delivery, but not for the writing of the sermon. I am scheduling my preaching calendar at least a couple of months out so we know where we are headed.
- Share Vision Regularly with Leaders- We have started a regular monthly leadership meeting with our student ministry volunteers. I am trying to regularly keep the vision in front of them. I am working on praying about vision more intentionally, and then articulating that vision to the leadership team
- Read, read, read- I want to be a reader. I used to hate reading, and am gaining a love for it now. I want to love it even more, and become more consistent at reading. I want to regularly be reading leadership and student ministry blogs, but also the top books to help me grow as a follower of Jesus.
Question: What are you doing to grow as a leader?