Loving young people is far more than running a program on Friday nights that runs like a well oiled machine that gathers hundreds of young people. The crux of youth ministry is to love and disciple young people into an authentic and long lasting relationship with their God and creator. In order to do this effectively, it requires more than a few hours on a Friday night. So what does that look like then?
Every community is different and as a result, the needs of its young people will differ. It is important to know your community, know your young people and the culture that surrounds them because this will allow you to meet them where they're at.
Don't be afraid to step outside the box, to try something new, to change things up a bit. If God has put a vision and a game plan on your heart, go for it, because it is most likely the key to reaching your young people most effectively, and we all know that is the end goal. Get creative and ask Jesus where the unreached young people are, how to connect into their worlds. Ask Him how you can best serve the young people in your community, or the families in the community, or partner with the school community and local principles to work together- what is already happening in your community that you and your youth team can get alongside, support and work with? Sometimes it doesn't look like starting our own thing and inviting the community in; it looks like knowing what we carry, who gave it to us to carry and how to take it into the place that already exist to bring impact, change and light where there is darkness.
We gathered a few suggestions for you in the document below. if you don't know where to start or nothing particular in your community springs to mind, perhaps start with one of these simple suggestions an see what else God opens up!
free skate park bbq
volunteer in high schools
outdoor movie night
breakfast club at schools
free tutoring help
sponsor a local sporting team
free music or dance lesson
before school bible time
weekly surf crew
volunteer at exisiting local program, eg. headspace, pcyc