May 29, 2009

Folmsbee on Youth Ministry: If I Were to do it Again

Chris Folmsbee, a youth pastor for thirteen years, has posted on "Youth Ministry: If I Were to do it Again." While I don't normally post on youth ministry issues I think Chris' suggestions are quite helpful. In fact, these suggestions might be worth considering for pastoral ministry in general. In any case, Chris suggests:

• Act theologically before methodologically
• Be more of a spiritual director than a program director
• Hire a parent to be a part of our youth staff
• Spend more time investing in interns/co-pastors
• Experiment with more learner-centered education models
• Ask less of my volunteers and yet equip them more
• Communicate change to the church leaders, staff and parents more
• Create more opportunities for students to "learn up" instead of me "teaching down"
• Celebrate the successes in the lives of students with greater regularity and intensity
• Worry less about the retreat themes and spend more time with the students on the retreats.
• Take students on way more spiritual retreats
• Work hard to be more collaborative with the youth workers in my city
• Take more time off to be with my wife and kids
• Be more intentional with a confirmation process
• Find time to laugh and play more
• Be more grace-filled with students who were goofing off and causing trouble
• Try to learn more from the staff instead of thinking I have all the answers
• Take the criticism of others more seriously and less defensively
• Meet with my spiritual director more often
• Take personal retreats more often
• Be way more missional and a lot less attractional in my approach or model
• Try and get more pulpit time to advocate for the students in the church and community
• Pray more and develop a team of people to pray with
• Provide inspiring training for the parent of the students
• Call the students to greater levels of holiness
• Spend a lot more time creating opportunities for students to practice justice
• Allow the more artistic students opportunities to express themselves and their love for God.
• Teach much more conversationally
• Try to enter into the joy, pain, loss, doubt, hurt, etc. of the students and their families

Read the entire post here.

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