Check out http://growmoore.tv to keep up on what is going on in my first year.
Check out http://growmoore.tv to keep up on what is going on in my first year.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of preaching a message and casting the vision of what God has called us to do in order to reach teenagers for him in order to fulfill the mission he had called us to we were going to be moving our student ministry over to our second campus on the corner of Walnut and Demoree St.
In order to make the move, we were going to need to upgrade parts of the facility with new paint, lighting, flooring and more. We took up a special offering and the people of VFA blew my mind with their generosity toward this project.
Last night we had our first “work-day” and a ton of people showed up. We had teenagers, twenty-somethings, fifty - somethings and every “something” in between show up to “set out the jars” for His glory.
Tonight we have another work night from 5pm - 9pm and I can’t wait to serve alongside of the amazing people of this church.
God is up to something Big and I am so honored to be on this team.
I absolutely love being a Youth Pastor. I love everything about it. Over the years I have had my share of good days and bad while working in the harvest field of Student Ministry.
One of the things I have a passion for is pouring into other leaders that are as excited about reaching teenagers for Jesus as I am.
I recently offered a One-on-One Coaching Service to Youth Pastors across the Country. The spots available quickly filled up and I simply do not have the time to take on any more leaders to work with one on one this year.
However, to help serve as many Youth Leaders as I can I am going to make a twelve month video series simply titled “From One Youth Pastor to Another”. In these twelve, thirty minute videos, I will share some of the things I have learned thru the years working in the local church.
Here are the topics I will be touching on.
A LESSON ON FRIENDSHIP
MY JOURNEY OF FAITH
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM I SEE IN YOUTH MINISTRY
The content I will be sharing in these videos is not what I talk about when I speak at Conferences or Leadership events across the country. This is not material that I have blogged about, this is a one on one type conversation where I share some of the things I’ve learned, trends I’ve seen and ideas that I know will help you as a Christ Follower, Youth Pastor and Leader.
If you are interested in having access to this video series, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you all the information you need to be a part of this video program.
Years ago I was speaking at a Regional Leadership Conference. After one of my sessions I opened it up for some Q and A. After about five questions I started to notice a theme, every question started like this … I’m a Youth Pastor at a small church” or “We have some great things going even though we are a small youth group and I was wondering”. They were all saying “I’m at a small church” or “I lead a small youth group”.
Small … Small .. Small. That is how they were defining themselves.
As I stood their listening, I decided to ask them a question.
“Small … would you define that please?” I went on to say “What is a small church? What is a small youth group? What is small? When you think about it, a group with 10 kids feels small compared to a group of 50. But the ministry of 50 students feels small compared to the church that reaches 100. And the youth ministry of 100 feels tiny compared to a group that ministers to 500. So what is small? Is small 10 - 50 - 100 or 500. Each ministry is large to one group, but feels small when they compare themselves to another
Large or Small is not defined by how many people sit in your seats as much as it is by where you are planning on taking them.
Don’t despise the days of small beginnings.
Regardless of how many students currently attend your Youth Ministry, remember ….you are not small … you just haven’t arrived at your destination yet.
Each week we do an activity in the field to build community with our students.
This week “WHAT” we did was play soccer.
But “HOW” we did it is what made it fun and memorable for our students.
We played “World Cup Soccer”.
We placed giant flags of different countries at the end of the field.
We had two host calling the game. The host had make believe names, used different voices, interviewed passer byes, gave out prizes and more.
We also made it sound like we were in an outdoor stadium by playing crowd noise thru our loud speakers - that we downloaded from the net.
Because the philosophy of “It’s not WHAT we do…but HOW we do it that counts” drove my incredible team to go above and beyond for this game, not only did the students that played the game love it - the students that sat and watched were entertained and part of the action as well.
We could have just rolled out a soccer ball, divided up into two teams and played soccer. But what made last Wednesday night special was not the fact we played soccer … but how we played it.
Tonight was a pretty low-key night. Last week we had a big service with a lot going on. This week our adult and children’s ministry did not meet so I knew we would have a lower attended night. And we did.
I preached. We worshipped. We celebrated what God had done during the summer. All in all it was a good night. Not incredible - not horrible. I think we have all been there before.
But after the service it happened. Like He has so many times before, God reminded me “why” we do student ministry in the first place.
As I was doing my usual post service conversations with students - “How was first day of school?” ”How was the ball game?” Typical stuff like that. One young man pulled me aside and asked to talk - as he did he unpacked his life right before me. Right after him another student in the group asked if they could have a few minutes. They then proceeded to let me into what they had been going thru that week and asked if I would pray for them.
As I looked around at the teenagers gathered around tables and playing soccer in the field I came to the realization - I once again realized … I have nothing to give them. I have nothing that can help them … except Jesus.
These kids need Jesus - that’s why we meet.
These kids need Jesus - that’s why we preach.
These kids need Jesus - that’s why we worship.
As I sit in my room pondering over the moments of the night. I feel a weight. I feel this burden, that comes from the clear understanding that we do not meet to show off our musical skills. We do not meet to make sure our transition is perfect and flawless. We do not meet to showcase a special video that we made. No! The young men that talked to me tonight needs so much more than that. The teenagers that come to my student ministry need Jesus.
I want to give Him to them.
January 20th - 21st
For more info email your name and state you minister in to:
God has opened doors for me to travel and speak at Youth Ministries as well as Youth and Leadership Conferences this fall and in 2012.
Here is where I will be speaking.
August 24th - Community Church Back to School Outreach - Orange, Texas.
Sept 6 thru 9 - Rockford First A/G Uth Retreat and Uth Service - Rockford, Ill.
Sept 30 thru Oct 1 - 209 Youth Conference - Buckeye, Arizona
Oct 28 thru Oct 29 - Live Out Loud Youth Conference - Kinston, North Carolina
Jan 27 thru Jan 29 - Amplify Junior High Conference - Ashville, North Carolina
Feb 24 thru Feb 26 - Florida A/G Leadership Conference
March 2 thru March 3 - Missouri A/G Youth Pastors Retreat
March 8 thru March 10 - Church on the Move Seeds Conference - Tulsa, Ok
If you feel I could benefit you and your ministry - conference - etc. Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we will see if we can work it out. It would be an honor to serve you.
Never yell at one of your students.
Raising your voice is a sign of lack of control. You are the one in charge, look them in the eye, speak to them firmly but never yell at them.
Never physically grab or shove them.
Can you spell L.A.W.S.U.I.T.? That is what you will have if you grab them.
Never use slang words around them.
Shoot - Dang - Darn - can easily be misunderstood or cuss words. Don’t use them around your teenagers.
Never be alone with the opposite sex.
Say this out loud as you read it - “IT IS NOT WORTH IT” - never be alone in the car, in the hallway, in a room with a teenager of the opposite sex, I don’t care the reason why … IT IS NOT WORTH IT.
Never expect them to obey a rule you have not explained to them.
What are your rules? If they don’t know them, they cannot obey them.
Never make a promise you cannot keep.
Don’t be a people pleaser - let your yes be yes and your no be no - if you can’t do it - don’t say you will.
Never expect them to get into your world until you have gotten into theirs.
Jesus came to our world so that we would want to come to HIS. I think we should do the same with the people we want to reach.
Never think of a students parent as the problem.
The only reason you have the ability to be in this teenagers life is because their parent is allowing you to. Parents are not the problem they are part of the solution.
Never preach to them until you have prayed for them.
Their are four P’s in Preaching. Plan - Prepare - Pray - Present. Never forget to pray.
Those are some things to NEVER do … here are three things you should always do.
The idea in marketing is to be noticed.
You need to do something different, something that sticks out.
In the technological world we live in, teenagers get 10 face-book invites each day and at least 50 text messages. If we follow up with our first time guests by dropping a face-book message or a text message we will be one of 100’s of other messages they have received that day thru those means.
We will not be noticed.
However – teenagers don’t get snail mail and teenagers rarely get phone calls – because of this, that is exactly how we have decided to follow up.
We are kicking it old-school simply because it is different … and different gets you noticed.
Here is how we have followed-up with our first time guest this summer.
An intern writes a hand-written post card to every first time visitor on Thursday morning after the Wednesday night service, thanking them for coming as well as invite them to come back next week.
An intern personally calls every first time visitor on Thursday afternoon, thanking the student for attending, asking them how they liked the service and inviting them back next week.
I call the visiting students parents on the phone on Thursday or Monday, personally thanking them for allowing their child to attend, answering any questions they may have and let them know I’d be honored if they could come back this week.
An intern writes a second hand written post-card to the first time visitor, letting them know we were thinking of them and hope they have a great week.
I know. I know these methods are dated … But I DON”T CARE! They are working.
This summer we had around 200 first time visitors and we grew in average weekly attendance by more than 100. That is a return rate of nearly 50%. These methods are getting teenagers attention and they are coming back and that is what follow-up is all about.