Loved this article from last week’s Homeword newsletter. Jim Burns wrote  Taking Advantage of the Parent/Youth Ministry Partnership – here’s a clip of it but the whole thing is solid and might be a great addition to a parent newsletter or meeting soon:

Build relationships with your youth pastor and youth workers. This is so valuable to the parent/youth ministry partnership, yet is so often overlooked. Do yourself and your family a favor and make the effort to build relationships with the youth ministry adults who work closely with your kids. Building relationships with these youth workers creates common ground, understanding, and trust. Building relationships fosters empathy, caring, love, and concern. We are better together, and even more so when we see each other as friends.

Help your youth ministry team help you. The more vulnerable and open you become to those who work most closely with your kids, the more understanding they will have into your family, and the better prepared they can become to help guide your kids, and to provide you with the support and encouragement you need. Scary? Perhaps. Valuable? Absolutely.

Engage with your youth ministry. Do you know what your youth ministry is trying to accomplish in the lives of kids? Do you know what programs are being offered, and what goals they are trying to achieve? The more you engage, the more you’ll know and understand, and the greater the sense of partnership you will feel.

Attend regular youth ministry parent meetings. Ask questions. Read ministry newsletters, emails, and texts. Stay in touch. When those seasons of life arise where you aren’t able to keep up on everything, and when you finally get your head above water, give your youth pastor or youth worker a call and ask for an update.

Volunteer in your youth ministry. Maybe you are a good fit for being a youth leader, or maybe not. If so, and if your kids are agreeable, volunteer! But even if serving on the front lines with kids isn’t your gift or passion, there are still many ways you can help your church’s youth ministry become stronger, healthier, and more sustainable. Prepare food, provide transportation, help with administration and communication, or offer to be a sounding board for new ideas and programs. In providing support to the youth ministry, you will be helping your own teenager.

JG

OUTTA CONTROL VOLUNTEERS?

The worst story I’ve ever heard about “volunteers gone wild” was at this past SYMC. One of my new small church friends shared with the class how one of her volunteers brought a tazor gun on a youth retreat!

Last in the series; here are? signs u MIGHT have an “OUTTA CONTROL VOLUNTEER:”

1) One of your guy volunteers asks if it’s ok if he sleeps in his bikini underwear on a youth retreat. (Another true story from my track at SYMC.) (This is a problem, btw.)

? 2) You have volunteers who’ve answered the call to hold up the walls of your youth room. Apparently, arms crossed is the official stance.

? 3) Two words: fanny pack

? 4) An adult? volunteer tells you after youth group that, “Tonight’s message didn’t meet my spiritual needs.” It was a lesson for middle-schoolers.?

5) Your volunteer asks if his parole officer can come with him on the mission trip…and are handcuffs on the approved items list?

6) You spend more time enforcing the discipline code with certain volunteers (than the kids) and it’s not easy getting them to stay in time-out.

? But seriously, ministry friends…volunteer management is probably the top most talked about topic among youth workers. What to do to avoid the above scenarios? It comes down to three things:?

1) TIME: The majority of your allotted ministry time should be spent on your volunteer team, training and equipping them. Make them the upfront stars; it maximizes the ministry effectiveness.?

2) TALENT: Use them in their skill sets. Don’t ask them to do what they’re not good at…it’s like asking me to do the crafts at VBS. Not my thing. I’d have the kids using the supplies to make projectile? objects. Otherwise you’re setting your volunteers up for failure. ?

? 3) TREASURE: This one sorta speaks for itself. Treasure your people. Affirm them really, really, really often. Give them stuff, little token gifts that say, “I treasure your time.” Well, I don’t mean you have to give them talking gifts; but that would be cool.

Stephanie