Spending some time each week creating some Youth Ministry 101 training times for our team. Here’s a little clip from a recent one on the importance of continually learning:
Uncle Sam sent many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than one hour in their assigned aircraft. The 357th Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission. A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five hours. Some had one hour. With arrival of new aircraft, many combat units transitioned in combat. The attitude was, “They all have a stick and a throttle. Go fly `em.” When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to P-51s in February 1944, there was no time to stand down for an orderly transition. The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, said, “You can learn to fly `51s on the way to the target.
The best youth workers are learners. Be a learner. When you stop learning you stop leading. We have the opportunity to learn before we get into battle!
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT)
- Blogs – subscribe to a ton of blogs. They’re free, easy to read, and easy to share. Ruthlessly delete ones that don’t look like they apply or are interesting. Unsubscribe if they get lame. Read, read, read.
- Books – get a book a month, read it. Marinate it. Mark it up. Put it on your shelf to remember your conquest.
- Other youth workers are a great source of learning – Get together with youth workers in your network. Start a network. Lead a network that is failing. Get together with like-minded ministers and learn.
- Experience is a great teacher – the lesson is learned after the win/loss, so it isn’t preventative like the other methods. But don’t undervalue the learning that comes from experience.