Sunday, July 5, 2009

Youth Ministry Lite #8

Happy Fourth Weekend! I have some resources that I am very excited to share with you! Our first highlight is the 4-session dvd pack Teens vs Parents by Mark Matlock. This is a great tool to use either on your Wednesday night meetings or to do over the summer as a week-long class for the community. You can promote it to the community by having you and your teens go out one evening and do a neighborhood blitz, handing out flyers and explaining what the activity is. You can also make up posters to hang within your youth area at church to promote your teens to invite their friends and neighbors. It is a great tool to teach teens how to have a better relationship with their parents and provides you the opportunity to teach them how they should view and treat their parents. This is a big issue as many of today's youth do not respect their parents or adults for that manner. On the fifth evening you could invite the parents to come in and discuss with them what you have taught the teens and what you hope comes from the lessons. You could even talk with the parents about both parties making that night when they begin with a clean slate. Possibly having the teens serve their parents/guardians refreshments.
Next up we have a great book and journal combo for you to read. Now it doesn't specifically deal with youth ministry but rather with you. Many times we forget about keeping ourselves spiritually healthy and this is a great book to renew yourself with. The title is The Travelers Gift and it is written by Andy Andrews. Make sure to pick up the journal that goes along with the book as I highly recommend it! I am currently reading both and it has had a huge impact in my life and how I view success and whats important to me. You will be telling your friends about it, I guarantee.
For our talk sparker this week I want to discuss teens, their prayer life, and what stance you need to take on the issue. Of course you know that you need to talk about prayer and so forth but what about really making prayer an important part of your weekly meetings. It is one thing to allow your teens to say your closing prayer and another to have them regularly participate in a prayer meeting. If we want to teach our youth how important prayer really is then we have to give them hands on experience. Every 1-2 months give the youth 10-15 minutes to spend in prayer. Prior to providing them this time, share with them how the prayer meeting will work and what the purpose is. You could ask them for specific prayer requests before you begin the prayer meeting or even the week prior and then type up a prayer sheet and handout to them. This will give them some direction. It will take them time to learn how to pray for 10-15 minutes and you have to be right alongside them. Make sure you ask each week for updates on the prayer requests that have been made. You could even have a praise party after your prayer meeting every couple of months. Make sure that you explain to the teens that God often times answers our prayers differently than what we want or expect. However, He sees the whole picture of our life and truly knows what is best for each of us.

By His Grace and For them,
Ashley E.

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