I went to a local fair and they had an exhibit featuring Star Trek- it had props, costumes, scripts, sets the whole 9 yards everything you could want to see and more!

Now I am more of a Star Wars guy but I do love me some good Star Trek too! Lately, Amy and I have been working our way through the Star Trek movies (Thank you Netflix!). I started to think about what benefits/skills the Captains would bring to youth ministry:

Captain James T. Kirk
GO with the feeling inside- While Kirk went with his gut reaction, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, and if we were smart we’d listen to it.

Keep a diverse team- Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scott and Sulu. This is a team that is made up of people with different strengths and weaknesses. In ministry we often try to do everything on our own, but the fact is we all have weaknesses. We need to find people to work with who can fit within our weak spots and we need to let them shine.

Keep learning- If there was anything Kirk did really well, is he learned from others so he could adapt and be flexible. We need to do this in ministry to keep fresh, otherwise we become stale and less effective.

Captain Jean Luc Picard
Have your priorities in order- Picard always put his crew or the people he was helping before himself. He also made sure to always complete his prime directive of every mission. There is an order of who we need to take care of: Our families and ourselves then others- if we don’t take care of ourselves we will be useless to work with anyone else.

Ask for help- One thing Picard did well was ask for help. When he knew he was beat he would get help. We need to do the same thing in ministry. Sometimes we need to get ideas from other people, sometimes we just need help getting a task done. No matter what you need help with, make sure you ask.

What are some leadership lessons you have learned?

Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kylecorbin.blogspot.com or Twitter: @CorbinKyle

diversity1

Ever wonder why the majority of Sunday morning church services across the globe are the most segregated time. Sad but true and our youth groups are mirroring the same reflections of big church.

In our society and especially the area where I live, 98% of our students attend diverse schools, live in diverse neighborhoods, and participate in diverse athletics and clubs. A few years ago we noticed many of our students hung out in mixed groups within their schools. Although, our students hung out in diverse groups; they never invited those friends to youth group.

We are having to re-access the reasons why our youth group looks the way it does. We are examining the words we use, the music we play and the jokes we tell. We discovered sometimes the jokes were using were only relatable to the community we were serving. We were not exposing our students to different genres of music, although many of them listen to more than just hip hop, so we found.

I think it’s good to look at events and music that your students would relate to but it’s good to challenge them and expose them to other things.

If we had a glimpse of Heaven I think many of us would be surprised to see there is NO Black side, Asian side, Hispanic side or White side. For many of us this would be a dramatic change. At what times to you socialize with others outside your race? If we seldom crossover as Youth Ministers or Pastors, how do we expect our congregation or our youth to crossover?

Look for ways to promote diversity in your group.

To fix this mindset we have chosen to become a Bridge. We began to expose our students to different and diverse conferences, concerts, events and projects. We began to look for events and projects that would promote diversity. We have started collaborating with other youth groups and churches on projects. We have created a network of youth leaders that is diverse. In doing this it felt very comfortable to us, it’s who we not something we are trying to make ourselves become. If we let down our barriers we would discover we can learn a lot from others.

Ask yourself has your community changed?

There have been several studies that show how our communities will change drastically over the next 50 years. Is the church being prepared for that change? If the church continues on without any regard to our changing world we may become ineffective and lose in a changing world. Check out these projected stats:

Nation’s Changing Makeup

Racial/ethic groups

2005

2050

Foreign born

12%

19%

White

67%

47%

Hispanic

14%

29%

Black

13%

13%

Asian

5%

9%

Note: *=Non-Hispanic
American Indian/Alaska Native not included

Source: Pew Research Center; Julie Snider, USA TODAY

Adjust your strategy

Don’t get me wrong you are going to reach the blueprint you are called to reach but our communities, schools and neighborhoods are changing, our world is changing. If we the church are going to survive this change, we need to rethink the way we do church and our strategy will need to adjust. We may need a new blueprint; the one we created 10 years ago may not be relevant anymore.

We have thousands of churches that are hosting satellite venues within various areas of their cities and states. Having the same blueprint will not work for all communities and definitely not for all youth groups. Our goal as youth leaders shouldn’t be to only reach the students in our youth groups. We must equip and send our students to reach others in their schools, neighborhoods and communities via friendship evangelism. The world does not look just like them. Students can do it, we have seen them go clear across the world on mission trips and reach hundreds and sometimes thousands. How are we preparing them for the challenge of reaching their schools and neighborhoods?

It is not changing who you are but it’s about reaching those God has placed in your community for you to reach. Sometimes that requires a change in strategy!