Such a good (and simple) article that I thought I’d cut and paste it a bit and post it here for you. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Veteran Youth Ministry Advice:

3 common mistakes to avoid

 

What are the youth ministry lessons I have learned over the years that would have been helpful at the beginning? I finally settled on three lessons to share, which I think will help you set a solid foundation for the rest of your ministry career.

1. Connect with parents

The first lesson I want to share is that you need to connect with parents…. [D]o not forget to connect with the parents of those students. I don’t mean just on Sunday morning or before a big trip. I mean visiting them at home, having them over to your house, dropping by their workplace (when you can), or anything that is a one-on-one type of interaction. As you get to know them better, you will know how to better minister to them. The more you know about a student and his parents, the better you can minister to the family.

2. Be yourself

This second lesson is a little more personal: you have to be yourself. God created you as an individual with specific gifts and abilities. You are not like that high profile youth worker or that nationally-known minister, or even the previous youth worker. If you have the gift of compassion, use it. If you are musically talented, make music a big part of your contribution to the ministry. If you are not a great speaker, find someone who is and have them do the upfront teaching. Do not pretend to be someone you are not – it will only harm you and the ministry. You will never be your most effective (determined by God) in youth ministry when you are focused on being someone you were never created to be.

3. Value God’s opinion most!

The last lesson I learned, and want to pass on to you, is that you have to be more concerned about what God thinks than what Timmy’s parents think… When you are spending time in God’s Word and prayer, you are learning to listen to His guiding. As a youth worker, listening to God and following His leading is far more important than making Timmy’s parents happy with you. As you follow God, people will see His hand within your youth ministry. When people begin to see God working in the lives of the students, they have a tough time arguing with a petty difference of opinion.

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Mike Kupferer has been in youth ministry for over 7 years and still loves it. He loves students and desires to see their lives changed because of Jesus. The only thing Mike loves more than youth ministry (and God, of course) is his family.

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