1) RELATIONSHIPS ARE COMMANDED BY GOD
- John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
- Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
- Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
- Eccl 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
- 1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Excerpt from “Your First two years in Youth Ministry” by Doug Fields – I ask my volunteers to think in terms of having 5-3-1 relationships. This means that every volunteer has five students who they know well and care for (a term we use is ‘shepherd’). From those five students, there will probably be three students who they spend the most time with outside of programs. Typically, not all five students will be interested or available to take the relationship to deeper levels. And, of those three, one student usually becomes the go-to student. “This is the one who you’re most likely to develop a life-long relationship with.” This takes away the guilt of trying to have a relationship with everyone in the ministry. Now, leaders can know five, develop three and focus on one. That’s not too much to ask.
2) YOU MUST TAKE THE INITIATIVE TO FORM RELATIONSHIPS
- Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
RELATIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY
I called Marvin the first week of my youth ministry job. Marvin was in the 7th grade. I met him briefly at a youth gathering where I was officially introduced as the new youth pastor. My goal that first week was to contact each student either by phone or by way of a personal note. My phone conversation with Marvin went something like this:
Me: “Hi, Marvin! This is Helen.”
Marvin: (In a monotone voice) “Who?”
Me: “Helen. The new youth pastor. (Silence. My insecurity increasing.) I was calling to say hi. (More silence. More insecurity.) So. . . What are you doing?”
Me: “Wow. Yeah. Well, what are you gonna do this weekend?”
Me: “Wow. Yeah. Well, what’s goin’ on at school?”
Me: “Wow. Yeah. Great. Sounds fun. Well. . .I guess I better let you go. It’s been really good talking to you. Hope to see you at youth group Sunday Night.”
I hung up the phone, feeling sure the letters “LL” (double loser!) were plastered on my forehead! “Man, this relationship building thing is really tough! I thought. “And this is what I went to graduate school for?!”
That Sunday I ran into Marvin’s mother in the hallway outside the adult Sunday school room. I tried to make a quick about-face when she spotted me and called me. Oh boy. . .here we go. . .
“Helen thanks for calling Marvin,” she said. “What did the two of you talk about?”
I was about to say nothin’, “but before I could she broke into a smile of interest and appreciation. “Marvin got off the phone and said, ‘Mom that was Helen, the new youth pastor! We talked, she understands me, how I feel, my struggles . . .”
Teenagers are often unpredictable, inconsistent, and not easily decoded. I learned that early on as I undertook relationship building. And the old saying, if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, again!” bears repeating when you’re trying to establish regular communications with students. For some of us, conversation and interaction come easily. But for many of us, the lurking voices of insecurity dive us from reaching out the way we really wanted to. It’s during these moments that we must remember, “In our weakness, his strength is made perfect.” And then our insecurity becomes our greatest gift. . . because it pushes us toward dependence on Jesus.
Marvin and I became good friends, regular “phone buddies.” I’m so glad that my first impressions and assumptions about our first phone call were wrong. And so, 25 years later, I’m still making phone calls to kids. And I’m still surprised at what God does in the midst of weaknesses.
- Helen Musick: Excerpt from “Your First two years in Youth Ministry” by Doug Fields
3) RELATIONSHIPS REQUIRE SACRIFICE
- John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
4) YOU MUST BE FORGIVING
- Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
- Hosea 1:2-5 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. 4 And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
5) YOU MUST BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
THE POWER OF THE LITTLE THINGS
- Calling your friend and tell them that you are praying for them.
- Drop a thoughtful card in the mail
- Find something truthful to compliment their children on
- Offer to watch their children one night so that they and their spouse can have a night on the town
- Honestly ask how they are doing
- Honestly listen when they “honestly” tell you how they are doing
- Offer to help out when you know they are really stressed
- Offer them resources that can help them relieve their stress.
- Invite them over for dinner
- Bake them their favorite dessert
- Remember their birthdays and their children’s birthdays
- Remember their anniversary
- Invite them over
- Ask them if there is anything that you could help them pray for
- Following up a few days after they share a prayer request.
- Mailing goofy postcards for no reason.
- Asking someone – on a one-to-one basis – to pray for you.
- Remembering peoples names and using them when you talk with them.
6) YOU MUST SERVE ONE ANOTHER
- Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
7) YOU MUST SURROUND YOURSELF WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS
- 2 Corinthians 13:1 In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
FIVE PEOPLE EVERY YOUTH GROUP
MUST PRAY FOR – Acts 18
1) PERSONS WITH LIKE PASSION (Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth) NOTE: They were all tentmakers and so they had the same mindset and understandings. I.E. – other youth group leaders, etc. These people can share victories, burdens, prayer requests, etc. Paul, Aquila and Priscila were “cut from the same cloth”.
2) GEOGRAPHICALLY-STRATEGIC PEOPLE (Justus) His house “joined hard” (next to) the synagogue. The mear location of Justus provided Paul with easy access to the place where he ministered regularly and would eventually see a catalytic conversion (Crispus)
3) VERY VISIBLE “STRATEGIC CONVERSION” (Crispus) He was the chief ruler of the synagogue. His conversion caused “many of the Corinthians who heard to believe and be baptized” (Acts 18:8) Who is it (already religious or sinner) who once converted could open up entire neighborhoods, schools, and peer groups?
4) GOD-USED HEATHENS (Gallio) Scripture never shows Gallio’s conversion but he provided a total stop to the Jews insurrection against Paul (v. 12-17) He silenced the critics of Paul and “drove them from the judgment seat”. (v. 16)
5) DENOMINATIONALLY STRATEGIC CONVERSION (Apollos) Apollos had much already. He was eloquent, mighty in the scriptures, instructed in the way of the Lord, fervent in the spirit, yet he knew only the baptism of John. Aquila and Priscila gave him credit for where he was (SO IMPORTANT!) and then “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly (completely)” (v. 26) Through the giftings of this man and the ensuing revelation taught to him by Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos “mightily convinced the Jews” and “helped them much which had believed through grace”. This kind of conversion helps spread the message of God’s kingdom in exponential ways.
This was taught by Rev. Tim Gaddy to the Section 3 Youth Workers Training in Battle Creek, Michigan approximately 2004. Material used with permission by Rev. Gaddy.
Take some time to write down all of your R.elationship goals on this page. We are much more likely to complete these goals when they are set before us.
RELATIONSHIP GOALS COULD INCLUDE:
1) Get married
2) Have a child
3) Develop a deeper relationship with my parents
4) Send 5 notes of encouragement a month to others
5) Keep in touch with old Friends
LIFE SURVIVAL SERIES
- SERMON ONE: THE ART OF SURVIVAL
- SERMON TWO: S.PIRITUAL GOALS
- SERMON THREE: U.NDERSTANDING GOALS
- SERMON FOUR: R.ELATIONSHIP GOALS
- SERMON FIVE: V.ISION GOALS
- SERMON SIX: I.NVESTMENT GOALS
- SERMON SEVEN: V.OCATION GOALS
- SERMON EIGHT: A.SSET GOALS
- SERMON NINE: L.EISURE GOALS