Thanks Ben. I think a lot of youthworkers give up too soon and don't have the patience to stick with it. It's all about persevering and building relationships over time. Glad you are there!
I agree, you're on a good track. Honestly, you could read the bulk of it in two hours. As you keep laying out these big changes, I'd really recommend it. The biggest suggestion I could give you is to get major buy-in from key leaders in the church. As you establish these "stakeholders" you'll have a better chance of realizing many of your goals over the long term. It's worth the effort.
You've got some great ideas here Chris. Have you ever read Mark DeVries' "Sustainable Youth Ministry"? He's the only one who has listed all the planning pieces you need to give major infrastructure change.... Great resource.
David, this is an OUTSTANDING post. Well done. Very motivating. It makes me see your viewpoint on community-wide events very clearly. Tremendous job.
I'm online, so I'll do a quick reply.
The beauty of this online forum is that we get to see a variety of things and how they work. It is always intriguing to me how something works in one place and doesn't work in another. I hear you clearly in terms of the fact that you're not pushing for putting on events, but recommend them as a way to build youthworker (and youth group, I bet) relationships.
Full disclosure: I don't really like big events regardless. It's one of those things I just have lost energy for as I've gotten older. So I like to let the youngin's pull together the big blowout events and then just invite my students to go. Doug Ranck is different - the dude is older than me (not by much though) and is still willing to go to Six Flags. THAT my friends, is commitment :)
Yep, no surprise, I'm lining up with Doug on this. I will not deny that community-wide events would be great. Once in a great while, they have worked out.
But i would recommend more that youthworkers create an event and then allow us to support that event by bringing our youth groups or at least advertising them. It allows for fewer cooks in the kitchen, and frees up our network meetings to remain relationally-driven.
Thank you. Tell me what you connected with.
Thanks - I'm seeing parallels between our posts on this topic with the stuff coming out of Fuller Youth Institute and their new book "Deep Justice Journeys." Cool to see the Spirit working all over -- we all seem to be headed in similar directions.
Sara, wait till you see my post on this subject. It's EERIE how similar they are. We are on opposite ends of the country, but experiencing similar things. Go figure.
You're ahead of the game if you've got all those adults on board. Well done.
I agree - we tend to equate attendance with success. Dang it.
I think what's difficult is to find a way to "measure" maturity and spiritual depth, and to also set them in front of the students as goals. I find establishing rites of passage to be a helpful way to at least start the process.