Hey, Youthworker! DUCK!!
In the winter of 2009, youth leaders from four small Lutheran denominations had the privilege of sitting under the training of Tiger McCluen director Youth Leadership out of Minneapolis. The training was entitled Principles of Effective Youth ministry- The Timothy Project.
Great training material was shared. (I would humbly make the case that Tiger is one of the most knowledgeable youth ministry people in the church.) But my point is not to boast on Tiger but to tell share what I believe was the crown jewel of the entire two days of teaching. It was simplified in one statement.
Tiger taught, Your Job is to duck.
“What makes us different from secular work with kids?” “What is the real reason for all of our work with these students?”
Transition to the spiritual focus of our work. This is the key idea of this session:
- Remind your volunteer leaders of the unique role of youth ministry that includes the proclamation of the gospel. The clear focus on tending to the soul, not just providing activities.
- Be sure to highlight the spiritual emphasis that is the distinctive of Christian youth ministry. Youth Ministry MUST POINT TO JESUS. We can be creative, but we can’t forget this. In the midst of everything we do, we want to suggest a simple little diagram to explain our role. Very simply, this is why we are here!!!
“The Ducking” image
In your volunteer training you can do this...draw this simple diagram on the white board or flip chart.
This highlights the fact that our job is to stand in front of kids and ask:
“Are you looking at me?” When you get their attention—your job is to DUCK….so that they know the Good News about the Gospel. Our job is not just to get them to come to events—it is to help them understand the gospel. This is to help focus them on the idea that they are really in the business of spiritual things---that they are “God people.”
Go over the problems with this image:
- We don’t duck after getting their attention.
- We don’t get their attention.
Both of these possibilities present challenges to our ministries and may get them thinking. Based on our discussion: If you use this image, be sure to point out that this idea of standing in front on kids is not JUST personal, individual. It represents the church, the youth program, etc. that may not be “capturing kids attention.”