THE HEART OF YOUTH MINISTRY IS RELATIONSHIPS BUILDING! Sounds obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. It’s easy to get bogged down on the agenda and attendance. While important, relationships matter more.
When you build relationships in youth groups young people open up and the group gets stronger and bonds closer. To build relationships you need to put together a format that focuses on them. And it starts with:
Youth groups that pray together stays longer and goes deeper. We put prayer at the beginning simply to invite the Holy Spirit into the conversation. Then we end with prayer needs. This reminds the group that they are not on their own. The praying might sound simple but it is most important, it keeps it focused and Christ centered.
Young people will quickly learn from their leader’s relationships. Each youth group meeting must have minimum two leaders, who not only get along with each other but also build up one another. If youth sense tension in their leadership, they won’t want to open up, to share their lives with one another, cause the leader is not ready.
Make sure the leaders spend enough time getting to know one another outside of the normal youth meetings. If you sense there is tension among the youth leaders, address it right away. Misaligned leaders will hurt a group quickly.
While there are important topics of faith to cover, a youth needs to know they can open up and share about their lives, beliefs and struggles. Create opportunities with a prompting at the beginning of the group. Let them know that they can share a life issue at any time.
Prepare your leaders to allow young people to talk. Encourage leaders to set aside time where someone can share what’s going on.
Format, content, environments are all important. But, if they do not lead to building relationships then your groups will suffer. Relationships are what keep the young people coming back, growing deeper in Christ and embracing his church.
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