This post is based on a youth worker Q & A from Youth Workers of Section 8 of the Illinois District. These questions were collected by sectional director Rev. Andrew Garvin. Youth workers of the section submitted questions ahead of time in order to receive feedback on issues that were personal to them. Below I have listed the questions that were submitted and then linked to things I have already written about or other resources. This will give all youth workers a resource to go back to.
1) FUNDRAISING IDEAS
Fundraising is exciting for me! Yes, you read that correctly . . . I feel that fundraising is exciting. Here’s the trick, if you don’t enjoy fundraising and simply feel that it is a chore, your parents and church members will feel the same way. However, if you cast vision for your ministry and explain how the fundraiser will fund that vision, everyone can feel excited about your fundraiser and vision. Some of my favorite fundraisers that I have posted on this blog and have used personally are BEST. FUNDRAISER. EVER. BALLOONS FOR MOM, DUCT TAPE FUNDRAISER, SHOE SIZE OFFERING, and CLOTHESLINE OFFERING. Another helpful post for raising funds for your ministry is GUIDELINES FOR A CREATIVE OFFERING. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
- Click here to receive a PDF containing “101 Fundraising Activity Ideas” by The Children’s Institute of Pittsburg.
- Youth Specialties and Youthworks combined to create “101 Fundraising Ideas.“ A PDF by “Youth Leaders Everywhere” and compiled by Meredith MacKinnon & Sam Townsend.
I am often asked for ideas to create or purchase curriculum. I will answer this question in a holistic approach to teaching by stating the following three points:
- A) PURCHASING CURRICULUM – First, when purchasing curriculum, I fully believe in the importance of purchasing Apostolic Curriculum. I have outlined my reasoning for this, and included many Apostolic Teaching Resources in my post, “TEACHING CURRICULUM.” The following links also have great options for curriculum:
- B) PLANNING CURRICULUM – Whether you are creating your own curriculum or purchase curriculum I believe it is important to realize, “THE POWER OF A TEACHING CALENDAR.” In this post I breakdown the importance of scheduling your student teaching/preaching calendar 1 to 3 years in advance. Some examples of this can be found in the following posts: A SAMPLE YEAR-LONG TEACHING CALENDAR, ILLUMINATE 2017 Teaching Calendar.
- C) TEACHING TIPS – Of course having curriculum is important and a teaching calendar is imperative but how you actually teach students is life changing. The most critical part of teaching that seems to be the most overlooked is preparation. Use the “P.R.E.P.A.R.E. TEACHING CHECKLIST” to be ahead a week at a time. You can also find some practical advice in the post, “TEACHER TIPS 101.” The post, “KRISPY KREME TEACHING EXPERIENCE” gives more in depth ways to create an interactive teaching experience. The post a “KEYS TO TEACHING SUCCESS“ is based off the research from my wife’s dissertation entitled, “Exposing Star Teachers of Children in Poverty.” These seven keys will greatly enrich your ministry. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
- GAMES – 5 Tips for Successful Games, Balloons, Beach Balls, Challenge Tarps, Circle Games, Clothes Pins, Food Games, Ice Breakers, No Prop Games, Parachute Games, Pool Noodles
- RETELLING – High Low Teaching Strategy, 5-3-1 Literacy Activity, Beach Ball Abc’s, Discussion Ball, Think Pair Share, Acting Out, Twist Me Silly: Pipe Cleaner Activity, One Word Recapping Activity, Mr. Talking Stick, Play-Doh Creations, Alphabet Balloon Activity, Mingle
3) RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS
Your number one priority as youth pastor is the parents. Yes, you read that right. I said parents. I must admit, I have completely changed positions on this as I have gotten older. I always felt that the students were my main and only focus. I couldn’t understand why I kept banging my head against the wall. I finally realized, that without parents there are no students, and without students there is not a ministry. Of course we all go through seasons where we are “SURVIVING PARENTS.” However, it is completely possible to be “THRIVING WITH PARENTS.” In his guest post, my brother, Anthony Morehead lays out a comprehensive communication “PARENT STRATEGY“ that will help your parents feel buy-in into your vision. My experience is communication is the number one key to happy parents!
4) HOW TO DEVELOP SERVANT LEADERS
All hands on deck! This was my favorite saying as youth pastor. I have learned that we usually receive what we expect. My favorite illustration for this is the contrast between the LIMBO and the pole vault. You could conceivably conduct both activities using the same bar. One is a party game and one is a premier activity in the Olympics. I have learned that wherever we place the bar, our students with the proper supports, can achieve. If we place the bar at servanthood and teach students, “THE POWER OF THEIR HANDS,” I have watched over and over, you end up with servant leaders. However, building servant leaders does not simply happen on its own. It the post, SUPER SUNDAY, I lay out a systematic plan for training your students in areas of Discipleship, Leadership and Ministry. ADDITIONAL RESOURCE:
5) ALTAR WORKING
The question was posed, “How do we effectively work with students in the altar?” Many times we forget that students are simply souls. My friend, John Kuzma, posted an excellent Guest Post, “ALTAR WORKING TRAINING.” In this post John gives excellent common sense tips on how to pray and NOT to pray for seekers of ANY age. I have personally attended John’s seminar several times and I have watched him and countless others bear out the fruit of this lesson.
Please feel free to use and adapt any of these resources to meet the needs of the students in your local church. Let me know if I can be helpful in anyway.