Teens & Faith: Hard questions about youth ministry

It's not easy to work with youth in the church, but some are gifted for it. We all need to share our experience and work together for the success of the Church.

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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Seeking to follow where God leads, and thankful that grace covers my multitude of errors.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Balancing ministry, or flirting with the dark side

I have tried for the last year to make small groups a bigger part of our youth ministry. I attempted to re-balance things with large group meetings only once a month and small group meetings in our Sunday time slot on the other Sundays. After a year of this experiment, two things are clear: we need to go back to large groups on all Sundays, and small groups are ready to go to other days of the week.

I believe each ministry has to find its own balance in this area. No two youth ministries will have the same answer. I would like for our ministry to be the kind that thrives on small groups, but that will take some time (if we ever get there.) In the meantime, we have some solid small groups that will thrive.

How are you doing on this? Is your ministry providing some balance of large group and small group; fellowship and deeper relationships? We all need both in our own way.

Monday, May 07, 2007

How much do you know about alcoholism?

I grew up with alcoholism in my family. I've discovered that as a youth director I do not know enough to be helpful to families struggling with the issue. Don't get me wrong - I understand the signs, I get the concept of co-dependency and I believe in AA and Al Anon and Alateen. However I was faced with a family in need and hadn't yet thought through how I could or should be of help to them. I've done a lot of phone calling in the last two days. I talked to family members who are in recovery about how I could be of help to the practicing alcoholic and the rest of the family. Now I have the phone number for the Alcoholics Anonymous Central office locally so I have somewhere to refer the alcoholic. I know where and when the Al Anon meetings are in my area. I'm ready to help folks get to a meeting and begin to recover.

If you've read this blog before, you know I am not perfect. I'm just trying to get better at being a Christian. Christians make sure they are equipped to help others. As youth directors we must know that 5-10% of our congregations are likely to be alcoholics. What are we ready to do about it? How can we prepare our teens and families ahead of time? Know who to contact. Have someone speak to the group at least annually. Be clear about what you can, will and should do when the situation arises, because it will.

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