Mt. Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership. What do Adults Youth Leaders do?

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1 1 Mt. Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership What do Adults Youth Leaders do? I. Have a call to student ministry Do you have a love for teenagers and are willing to build a relationship with them so they an grow closer to God? Our Goal: To create a comfortable environment for students sitting in our ministry during our worship services. This comfortable environment includes facilitating prayer time, conversation, remembering names, caring for immediate needs, and helping get students plugged into our Student Ministry. This is a vital role within our ministry because a student won t become theologically aware of God s love if he/she doesn t feel loved by anyone in a crowded room. II. Have a commitment to student ministry Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the service. Early arrival demonstrates care. Arriving before the students will allow you to secure a seat and greet students as they enter the room. Be a greeter. Shake hands, touch, and help students feel welcomed and valued. Encourage student interaction. Introduce students to other students and facilitate group interaction during games and other small group interactions. Know Students Names. More than anything else, students love to be known by their name. As our group continues to grow, so does the need for knowing students names. Help visitors with the information card. Help new students fill out the information card that will place them on our mailing list and attendance sheet. Model genuine worship during singing Seekers can be effectively witnessed to by the genuine worship of believers. Singing, during the worship songs, models a true heart after Christ. Lead Prayer or small group time. Encourage students to participate and pray for during youth group meetings. You may also be asked to do spiritual counseling during invitation time. Be in charge of a small group of students for follow-up. Write a quick note (3 lines) to the regular students from your group who missed a week (you can give the letter to a staff person and the church will mail it during the week). Make a contact with each group member twice a month. Respond to noise and disruption. Encourage students to pay attention and to respect the attention of others during the message. Attend as many extra-curricular events as possible as youth chaperones. Helping out in our extra events like Mission trips, Beach retreat, D-Now Weekend, single day trips, fellowships and parties, etc. as chaperones, drivers, servers, cooks, helpers or wherever needed.

2 2 III. Make a time commitment to student ministry Adult leader WEEKLY time commitment Regular attendance at the Wednesday and/or Sunday night service each week: Arriving 15 minutes early and staying 15 minutes after the service ends to carry on conversation and build relationships. 1.5 hours per week. This translates into a MONTHLY time commitment of Adult leader Total per month 8 hours Optional: Connect with students from your group outside of the regular worship services 2 hours IV. Model a Christian character We need leaders who consistently pursue an authentic and growing faith in Christ. We want our youth leaders growing spiritually and relying on God s power and wisdom. We want our leaders praying that they will see students the way Jesus sees them, listen to students the way Jesus listens, and speak to students the way Jesus would speak to them. Character: Model a Christ like heart. Be committed to serving others needs with love. Be a leader of students. Constantly be praying for students to DISCOVER the joys of serving. Be committed to consistency.

3 Mt. Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership - Leading Students What Students Need We will only change the youth world one student at a time. Today s students do not connect to programs they connect with people. The most effective way to impact students is through significant relationships with caring adults in their lives. One of the common roadblocks for adults getting started in youth ministry is they have misconceptions about what it takes to be a youth worker. Common misconceptions are You must be young You must have adequate Bible training You must be a perfect example of a Christian You must be a captivating communicator You must feel secure You must be able to act like one of the students You must have plenty of free time You must know everything about the latest youth culture You must be wild, crazy and dynamic You must be liked by all students You must own a 15-passenger van Student ministry is not the easiest ministry in the church and it s normal for you and okay for you to feel inadequate about your skills. Your confidence will grow the more you re around students and you see how God can use inadequate people (like you and me) to do great things. Here s the truth about what students need Students need adults who will... love God and live for Him be interested in their life take initiative to spend time with them pray for them be real say encouraging words believe in them laugh and have a good time remember their name and care for them share God s love through personal experience be consistent to their attendance be patient How To Get Involved In Students Lives We will later explain the application process, but first it is important for you to understand what commitment we ask of our staff. For effective ministry with students you need to: 1. Understand the purpose and planned values of our ministry. Take a look at the values and goals that make our student ministry effective in reaching and caring for students. 2. Commit to a role in our ministry. Consider the role for which God has SHAPED you in order to build relationships with students. 3. Grow as a minister. Develop your personal ministry to students. *Adapted from Saddleback Youth Ministry Resource Notebook Doug Fields

4 4 Mt. Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership Why we do what we do Understand the purpose and planned values of the Student ministry The first key to be involved in students lives is to understand the purpose and planned values of our ministry. Purpose Statement: Where we are going: the future of the ministry. Based on Acts 2:42-47 A group of youth, children, families and leaders who commit together with God to SHARE with our world about the saving love of Christ. (Evangelism) GROW in our relationship with Christ and with each other. (Discipleship) BUILD our church for the cause of Christ. (Worship & Fellowship) MINISTER to our world in the name of Christ. (Ministry) Planned Values: Planned values are descriptive words that reflect our values, attitudes, styles and beliefs that help fulfill our purpose. We try to incorporate these key approaches into all of our programs. It is all built on RELATIONSHIPS. Relational approach We want to spend time with students Encouragement We want to make students feel good Laughter and Celebration We want to help students enjoy life Acceptance We want to take students where they are Transparency We want to be real with students Involvement of students We want to get students participating Outreach oriented We want to reach the lost students Numerical growth We want to reach the masses Spiritual growth We want students to mature Homelike We want students to feel like they belong Intimate We want students to feel cared for Professional We want to do things well Strategic follow-up We want to know where students are

5 5 Mt Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Youth Leadership Youth Leader Commitment Sheet After observation of the ministry, time I have spent in prayer, and discussing with my family the commitment involved with being on youth staff, I choose to commit to the following: I acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in my life and I have a personal relationship with Him. I am committed toward growing and maturing in my relationship with God through quiet times, active attendance at church, and involvement in accountability. I am committed to choices and a lifestyle that are both Godly and "above reproach", knowing that my lifestyle is a model for the students. I am making a commitment to the youth ministry for at least a semester. I will attend youth staff meetings. I understand the philosophy of this youth ministry and agree with its purpose and commit to shepherding students that God brings to me. Because I am making a significant commitment and my presence is important, I agree to be consistent and timely to the program I commit myself to. I also agree to communicate with Jim if I will be absent. Signature: Date:

6 6 Mt Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership Youth M.I.N.I.S.T.R.Y. Tool In an attempt to help our student worship service become more effective we need our volunteer ministry staff to help in each group. Below you will see the various responsibilities where we need your help. MEET STUDENTS It's crucial that every student is warmly greeted. Actually, I'd like them to be greeted several times. A sincere greeting includes eye contact, using their name in a sentence, and remembering their name throughout the program. INTERACTION Work to facilitate interaction so students are talking with one another. Many times, students will sit next to another student without saying a word unless they are forced into opportunity. Also, it's your responsibility to oversee and lead dialogue during any small group or instructed dialogue time. NEW PEOPLE When you meet a new student take them under your wing--especially if they came alone. Visitors will only return if they felt comfortable and greeted. Take the time to introduce them to other students and adults. INVITE TO A PROGRAM Read through the bulletin and be aware of our events--both special events and weekly programs. SIGN-IN YOUR GROUP The only way to make our large group small is to know who is attending and who is missing. We count students because students count. TOUCH Make sure every student is approached and welcomed. RESPOND TO NOISE AND DISRUPTION Because of the large number of students there is a natural amount of noise. We need your help. Please express your leadership with grace and truth in order to keep a table quiet. We are comfortable with students leaving the room if they feel they need to continue to talk. YES MESSAGE The "yes-message" communicates excitement over a student's presence. It lets them know we are thrilled they ve joined us and we look forward to seeing them again. Students become theologically aware when they are sociologically comfortable. *Adapted from Saddleback Youth Ministry Resource Notebook Doug Fields

7 7 Mt Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Leadership Small Group Time Small Group Skills Godliness is more important that skills; however being skilled is not unimportant. Here are some guidelines to help you be a better small group leader. Some Basic Small Group Skills Do not be afraid of silence. Let the students sit for a moment and think. Value student input. Do whatever it takes to affirm the comments of student input... do whatever it takes but do not be fake or sound fake. Be delicate with answers which are clearly wrong (You probably don t want to put a big red idiot stamp on their forehead... even if they are). Do not feel like you have to finish, complete, or correct a student s answer. Don t feel like you have to know all the answers. We are human, and it is good for your students to see that you are limited. You are and most of them don t think so. Never talk more than the students. Ask questions to generate discussion, ask students to explain their answers and go into more depth. Ask students if they have questions. This will give you a good feel for the group dynamic. Echo input. If a student s answer or input is long-winded or unclear, repeat it back for clarity. This proves you are listening to him or her and it keeps the attention of the rest of the group. Keep the group focused and on purpose. Be sensitive to the Spirit. Communicate and maintain confidentiality. This allows students to open up, however, don t keep potentially dangerous information to yourself. Don t be discouraged... if you don t have enough students for your own small group. Don t be discouraged... if you have a bad night. There s is not a small group leader alive in the world who hasn t had bad nights. Working With Different Personalities in Your Small Group You know what it s like watching the individual personalities in a small group emerge -- even if the small group is a family. Your challenge as a small-group leader is to learn to work with the personalities in your small group and help all your students grow individually even as they learn to function as a group. Here are six types of student personalities, most of which you ll meet in a typical small group of teenagers. The aim isn t to stereotype students, but to forewarn you of common traits and characteristics you ll encounter in your small group -- and then to help you find ways to minister more effectively to them. The Talker Description: This is the student in your small group who never stops talking, who always has a comment for everything. You re tempted to apply duct tape, but don t -- there are more productive ways to handle this student.

8 8 Possible Solutions: First, position the Talker next to you when you begin your group, which reduces eye contact with her when you ask a question -- and when she interrupts someone, lets you reach over and touch her arm (usually a silent but effective cue). If you have a whole group of Talkers, you may want to try the ground rule that stipulates that the small group must circulate an object -- a stuffed animal, Nerf Ball, spit wad, whatever -- and that a student must possess it before speaking. This will help Talkers wait their turn. Chances are, the Talker has some natural leadership ability that you should encourage. So let her lead the small group now and then. This can help her appreciate what you endure as a leader, and she just may become more supportive when you lead. If the problem persists, get some time alone with her and talk with her about giving others a chance to answer the questions. Help her feel that she s on your team, and that the two of you need to work together to encourage the other students to respond. The Thinker This student is quieter (and usually shier) than the others, with a tendency to get drowned out by the louder personalities in your group. So bring him out more by positioning him across from you, to increase the chances of eye contact with you. You can also use the tried-and-true method of occasionally directing questions to specific students, thereby eliciting responses from the Thinker. If the Thinker is particularly shy, spend one-on-one time with him to discover what he s interested in -- and so you can create the kinds of questions that will bring him into the discussion. Use the positive reinforcement of affirming him on those occasions when he actually does respond publicly. And when he lapses back into silence, don t interpret that silence as something that needs to be fixed. Some kids just learn by listening and watching -- and there s a good chance he s one of them. The Church Kid This kid has already spent more hours in this church than you probably have. She s progressed from the church nursery to the high school room in the course of her 14 or 15 years there. She consequently knows more about the Bible than any other kid in youth group, not to mention her small group. Of course, her knowledge may or may not indicate spiritual depth. Church Kids can be the hardest to reach because they ve heard it all, and therefore feel they have nothing to learn. One way to challenge them is by not being satisfied with pat answers. Always ask shy. Or play devil s advocate by countering her squeaky-clean, correct answers with provocative arguments from the wrong side of the issue. Such strategies usually for a Church Kid to think more deeply about her answers instead of just rattling them off. Ask her to help you create questions for a Bible Study -- or even let her lead the small group once in a while. In any case, avoid asking questions that invite a right answer. Opt instead for question that leave room for a variety of valid responses. The Distracter This is the student who can t sit still and ends up distracting everyone in your small group -- including you. Rather than constantly stifling him, direct his energy toward productive ends: ask him to help you pass out Bibles, set up chairs, etc. You may better understand this student (and where his energy comes from) if you get together with him outside of your small group. Even a Distracter can be good for your small group. Even a Distracter can be good for your small group, if only because he doesn t let you get by with boring Bible studies. (Remember that when you re tempted to quit.) Really -- your leadership skills will be sharpened as you find ways to engage him as well as the tranquil students in your lesson. The Debater She irritates you by challenging every point you (or anyone else) tries to make. Sure she brings a creative energy to the group sometimes -- but she often stifles the other kids by making them feel too threatened to voice their opinions or feelings. Deal with the Debater by establishing ground rules for you small group, (the first and perhaps the only) being: It s okay to disagree with opinions, but it is inappropriate to attack or put down other small-group members if their opinions differ from yours. A second ground rule may be that only one person may talk at a time. Ground rules like these help make a Debater s criticism less caustic and restrains her from interrupting others in order to make her point.

9 9 The good news: once Debaters understand and abide by such rules, their input can actually enliven your discussion. Just remember that your goal is to direct, not stifle, their participation. The Crisis Producer This student is in perpetual crisis -- and lets you small group know about it every meeting. He s often self-absorbed and therefore unable to participate in the discussion, except when it s focused on him. So get together with him before you small group begins in order to talk through his problems with just you instead of bringing them to the small group. (Lucky you.) Or begin you small-group discussion with the assurance that everyone will have a chance to share problems, prayer requests, etc., at the end of the group. This helps members -- and especially Crisis Producers -- stay focused on your bible study. Whatever your strategy with your Crisis Producer, your long goal is to help him see past his crises to some solutions, and then to participate in you small group without having to constantly bring the focus back to himself. What about a student who raises a legitimate crisis during the discussion? Be flexible enough to postpone your study and deal with the issue at hand. [Note: The following material was created by Doug Fields and the Youth Specialties Resource Seminar development team] Adapted from Saddleback Youth Ministry Resource Notebook Doug Fields Mt Pisgah Baptist Church 101 Pisgah Rd Easley, SC (864)

10 10 Mt Pisgah Baptist Student Ministry Adult Youth Leadership So, you want to be a Youth leader! A guidebook on becoming an effective adult youth leader in Mt Pisgah Baptist Church Student Ministry

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