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Need Your Input….on Church Leadership

Stephanie Caro —  February 10, 2010 — 16 Comments

Thanks for all the Volunters input. Now answer these for me:

1) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and youth ministry?

2) What do you do to educate your church leadership?

3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry?

Thanks SO much friends!


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!

16 responses to Need Your Input….on Church Leadership

  1. Rev. Tami Wenger February 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

    ) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and youth ministry?

    We are working on a church addition and the youth have a room all there own. Not sure yet when it will be completed as they are working on the room upstairs first. I wish they would see the importance of getting our room finished so we can have our own space. We have been in three different rooms as the remoldling has been going on. All of our stuff is in a plastic tote while we wait. It’s kind of sad. It doens’t seem to be a big priority and I think for the kid’s sake it should be.

    2) What do you do to educate your church leadership?

    Let not only church leadership but the congregation know what the youth are up to and what their golas are.

    3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry?

    The support it in many ways and I am thankful that they do. They help with fundraisers and want our group to grow in thier Spiritual life. They also support me in getting training to help me be better prepared.

  2. 1. That they can trust me (I’m new). That youth ministry is not all fun and games and that true discipleship takes time.
    2. I’m big into getting the word out there about what we are doing and awesome things that have happened. Committee meetings, Staff meetings, weekly email newsletters to volunteers, parents and youth, bulletin and church newsletter all work great for me.
    3. They offer a generous budget for curriculum and supplies. They also send me to continuing ed, including the SYMC! ;) They make sure that I have an active Steering Committee of adults and youth.

  3. 1) That we need their support.
    2) Meet with them regularly to let them know what’s happening, invite them to be a part of what we do.
    3) They give us a budget…

  4. 1. I wish they knew how much time I spent with students on their turf! How many online conversations, and one on one chats about life and a relationships with Christ. I wish they didn’t see students as the church of the future but instead the church of NOW!
    2. I tried to make sure I included those conversations in my report to help them see how important it was. I also tried to encourage them to ask students to serve on committees and be involved in the services.
    3. Their were some very supportive people on our boards at our church that were willing to serve at youth dinners, encourage the students in their activities, and provide snacks on occasion. They provided financially which allowed me to take students to workcamps and other trips where so many students came to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ1

  5. 1. I wish they knew that they have a big impact on our students now. Through prayer, talking to them directly, encouraging them when they see them around town. That sunday mornings could mean so much more if the service spent 2 mins. of each sermon talking directly to them about whatever topic is being discussed.
    2. Written reports on student ministries, we have a quartly time during the service for updating the congregation on what is being taught to students in sunday school, usually includes a brief song, bells or drama from the students.
    3. Most of the leadership is supportive through fundraising, allowing some of our craziness during special events and sunday services, and (thankfully) in prayer.

  6. 1) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and youth ministry? Our church leadership is very supportive of the youth ministry. Budgets are always an issue, even for a growing church, as we are trying to share assets across different ministries.

    2) What do you do to educate your church leadership? The Sr. Youth Pastor keeps the Sr. Pastor up to date on weekly progress, opportunities and issues. I serve on the Administrative Board, so I take advantage of that role to keep the board informed about the ministry and several of the other board members are active in the youth ministry as well.

    3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry? The church leadership is very supportive, to not only make sure budget needs are met but to ensure the vision of the church is being included in the vision and direction of the youth ministry!

  7. 1) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and youth ministry?

    Youth ministry to non-churched kids without support of the butts in the pews will plateau.

    2) What do you do to educate your church leadership?

    I attend our weekly elder’s meetings as often as possible to talk about issues.

    3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry?

    They listen, encourage and pray for me.

  8. 1. I think because youth ministry is so different and unique from the other ministries in the church most church leadership wants you to do your own thing and don’t mess up the church. They want you to create your own silo from the rest of the farm but then gets upset when the youth aren’t more a part of the church. I would love for them to realize that the reason so many teens are not a part of churches when they get older is because noone made them feel welcome on Sundays when they were teenagers. We catered to all their needs as a child and teen and we never helped them feel a part of “big church” because senior leadership couldn’t find a way to relate to them. While I have a role in this transition, I have teens who want to be a part of the youth group who are 21 just to have a place in the church.
    2. I try to have real discussions and send articles that I feel would be meaningful to the discussion. I for one apparently haven’t figured out the right thing to do because neither one of my senior pastors have ever been to one of my youth meetings. The best thing I do is continue to discussion and pray that God would lead them if that is God’s will.
    3. They provide a budget, prayer, and sporatic words of encouragement.

  9. 1. How much everyone plays such an important role in the success of the youth program- youth ministry is for everyone- everyone can play a role, whether it’s starring or supportive-, from leading a study, to hosting the youth in their home for a small group study, to lifting the group up in prayer, & just sharing support & encouragement with the leaders (especially when they’re volunteer leaders ;) Simple & painless gestures, like cards or an “I’ve been praying for you,” can be so meaningful to the youth (& leaders) & really help to connect the youth to other adults in the church.

    2. Our pastor & church secretary are on the youth email lists, so they get all of the correspondence we send out on upcoming plans, events, & so on. We put info on many youth events & plans in the weekly bulletin. Our church also has a monthly newsletter, & we try to include info on upcoming events, as well as folllow-up info on recent/past events- for example- when we go on “big trips” or have big events, we try to follow-up with the youth with simple surveys about the events, & then put their answers in the newsletter.

    3. We are given a lot of (well-earned) freedom & leeway with our programming & planning. They are very supportive in giving to the “youth fund” when needs are made known, & we have a committee of parents who help with planning fundraiser dinners. We are blessed to have a church that knows that children & youth are the future of the church, & that most Christians get saved before they turn 18, & support the ministry accordingly.

  10. 1. This one is really easy! My Associate Pastor and I talk every day. He has been in ministry for as long as I have been alive (31 yrs) and I talk to him about struggles, vent and ask for help in certain areas of the youth ministry. I do wish that my Senior Pastor was more open to talk. He is a very guarded individual and hard to talk to.

    2. We try to get together once a month to discuss things that are going on in our different areas of ministry and how we can better fix things. I have talked with both about teaching the sex series that goes with the LIVE curriculum due to the fact that some of the girls in the youth have become sexually active and I feel that now is the time to use this series to equip the teens with a better way…..God’s way!

    3. This has never been a problem. We are always taken care of by the members of the church….financially that is. I wish that more adults were more involved with the kids though. We are currently growing (30+kids on Wed.) and praying about small groups. I would love it if some of the adults came over to the youth side on Wednesday night and make a difference in the kids lives.

  11. 1. if you’re talking about church “staff” leadership, then they only know what i tell them. i try to keep them aware at staff meetings of the events we have planned and the vision that i have. i wish that they knew how valuable the youth ministry is and how much MORE they should be involved because probably half the youth group doesn’t know any of the staff other than me.

    2. i don’t do anything to educate them except for making them aware of what i’m doing at staff meetings. because i’m so young, they don’t want to listen to me. they don’t see it as important (which is obvious because of recent happenings i already told you about). i would not even know where to start if i thought they would actually listen to me.

    3. the children’s director co-sponsors a “changes” transitional 1/2 lock-in for the rising 7th graders the august before they officially enter the youth group. the pastor comes to pray with us before we leave on a trip. that’s it.

  12. My church leadership is great! Both pastors above me both had successful youth ministries and they know the toll that it takes. So I can’t really talk about them because they’ve been there. Elders, we have some great ones. They know what ministry takes to be successful and what success looks like in ministry.

    Usually one of our pastors help elders understand what I do sometimes when I do it because they have questions sometimes. So, they educate them on what YM is like.

    Our leadership reaffirms that they are on my team and want me to be successful in ministry. Even though I’ve made some mistakes they didn’t call me out in front of others but rather pulled me aside and talked with me about it. They don’t scold but rather talk through decision making and what could’ve been done to avoid problems and go from there. Being in my 2nd year in YM still, they understood that I was going to make mistakes when they hired me and were forgiving and very encouraging. Our church leadership is the BOMB!!

  13. 1) I wish they knew that youth ministry is as vital and as important as kids ministry, worship ministry, and all the rest. (More important, depending on who you ask!) I wish they knew that I am a pastor, too – and not just when it’s convenient to have another pastor…but like for the bid decisions, too. :) Mostly, I wish they were brave enough to know our stduent on a personal & spiritual level – they’re missing out on so much.
    2) I keep student ministry in front of our church ALL THE TIME! I invite our leadership to every training, event, everything we ever do. I send ‘just food for thought’ e-mails. Mostly, I try to know about what THEY do – it seems to open doors about what I do.
    3) We definitley have a ‘loud & noisy church’ policy. They don’t complain about soda stains or broken toilet seats. :) Many of them ask about the student ministry and/or serve there in some capacity. They make sure we are represented in the budget – albeit humbly – and they trust me to do my job.

  14. 1) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and youth ministry?
    I wish Church leadership would do more then be aware that there is a Youth Ministry. It would be awesome to see some of them hang out with the youth and to join us in the “trenches”

    2) What do you do to educate your church leadership?
    Honestly, not much. I do try to involve them as much as possible in what we are doing and keep them informed about the happenings in the youth group

    3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry?
    We are supported through prayer and they finicially support us by including us in the budget and show up when we are doing a fundraiser

  15. 1) What do you wish your church leadership knew/did about you and your ministry?
    Our church leadership rocks! They are very supportive in the youth ministry at our church.
    2) What do you do to educate your church leadership?
    Some keys to what has worked…
    -several years ago I got the senior pastor to travel with me to a national youth ministry conference
    -we have monthly staff meetings and in addition I meet once a month with the senior pastor at an off-site location to catch up
    -I meet quarterly with our vestry to give them updates. We also have a youth who sits on this leadership committee who keeps them posted.
    -make regular (sometimes weekly) announcements in church (doesn’t just have to be me, but will get another adult leader or a youth to make the announcement)
    -have activities printed in the weekly bulletin
    -write an article every month for the church newsletter
    -have the leadership (staff & vestry) on weekly youth/parent emails
    -send daily emails during the summer mission trip (we have the staff and vestry on the email list, but we also ask for any others who wish to be included on the email list)
    -not only do we educate the church leadership, but we can’t forget to educate the entire church
    -youth mission nights or a youth mission church service is a great way to educate others what impact the youth mission trip had
    -last year we had a youth church service that talked about the youth culture in general and the impact that the youth ministry has on the youth of the church in the youth culture of today.
    -lastly, every year we have a project that the high school seniors organize and follow through with. The high school seniors and the youth ministry adult leaders get together at the beginning of the school year to brainstorm ideas. The adults help guide and encourage them as they take ownership in the project. The students promote the chosen idea, getting the other youth involved, making fliers, writing newsletter articles, and even making weekly announcements at church. Not only does this keep the high school seniors active, but it educates the church about what we are doing. For example, our high school senior project last year was a toy drive for inner-city families. Myself and another adult leader drove the 2 seniors to the area that would benefit from the the toy drive. We had several meetings after that to encourage/help them. When it was over, they had the entire youth ministry helping and they created awareness within the church. The parents of the seniors came with us to help the 600 toys that were collected.
    -Encourage youth to follow their vision. This past year we had a youth want to help the homeless community. After several meetings to brainstorm some ideas, she started a Toiletry Ministry and collected the hotel sized toiletries. The church members responded and she collected boxes of toiletry items that we delivered to a homeless shelter.
    3) How does your church leadership support the youth ministry?
    They are overwhelmingly supportive. We try to put the youth and the youth ministry program in the spotlight at the church with any chance we get!

  16. #1- Since we are still a fairly young church, we have the elder board who the Senior Pastor presents everything to and the Senior Pastor who I present everything to. I meet at least 1x per week in 1-on-1 time and discuss past concerns and planning for the near and distant future. Initially, he was very involved with the planning for youth by his own control. For about the last year or so, he has given all control over to me with some general direction during our weekly meetings. He sees the need to lead and direct our youth and reach out the those in the local schools and is, therefore, very supportive in my decisions for planning.

    #2- I do a lot of research and collect a lot of information from books I read or all the websites I belong to. This youth conference is the first I will be going to and the church is putting up the money for it which is HUGE for our small church. I would like to start attending the elder board meetings, at least on a quarterly basis, to update them directly; instead of having the Senior Pastor bring them up to date.

    #3- I I just mentioned, the fact that they are paying for this conference is HUGE. As we are still a fairly young church plant, I have not had to deal with any specific budget. However, this year I have been having to present more a specific plan that includes costs and needs. Though this is very frustrating at times, I am praying it will be helpful in the long run.

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