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A Christmas Contemplation

 —  December 28, 2012 — 2 Comments

“And the time came for her to be delivered, and she gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped him swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger – because there was no room for them in the inn.”

What will your youth ministry give birth to this coming year? I’m thinking that, by now, you’re 1) taking a little breather from a hectic church schedule and 2) considering what you want to change/add/delete in your youth ministry come January. If that’s so, you’re right on track with the rest of us.

Here’s a few questions I’d like you to noodle on in that spaghetti bowl of multiple thoughts for the future:

“No room in the inn” – What do you need to “close the door on” in your ministry?

“No room in the inn” – What habits send the message to your family that there’s no room for them in your schedule? What can you do about that in 2013?

“No room in the inn” – When students come for the first time to your youth group, what message do they get: “The door is always open!” or “Really, there’s no room for you here”? What 5 steps can you take to maximize one and minimize the other?

“No room in the inn” – What rooms in the “home of you” have you shut God out?

I’ll be thinking about this, too.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

2 responses to A Christmas Contemplation

  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Your post strikes a chord because it asks the same question I’ve been asking myself for the last twelve hours. Literally, I’ve been awake all night trying to figure out the answer. Since your post fits my thoughts so well, I would like to ask your opinion. I’m trying to figure out who can be invited to our high school youth group. Should a high school youth group be open only to high school youth? Some of our teens want to invite older friends, 18-21 years old. While I want to be as welcoming as possible, I’m also concerned about the appropriateness of 18 to 21 year old guys hanging out with 13-15 year old girls. What do you think? I’m really in a quandary.

    • Stephanie Caro

      It IS a quandary isn’t it, Pam? I think one of the secrets of making a group truly “open to students to grow” is that there DOEs have to be boundaries set age-wise. A high-school group should be open to high schooler, a college group to college students. If there isn’t a college group available at your church isn’t really the fault of your high school youth. When “too-old” (and “too young”) are allowed into an age-level appropriate youth ministry, its sends a stronger message of “there’s not room for me in this group” to the youth that SHOULD be in it. They start feeling crowded out and their needs aren’t properly met. Make sense?

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