Sunday we had our first Small Group Leader Training. Every year we tinker with our training and try to make them better than the year before. We want to honor the time that our small group leaders put in and make the training worth missing time on Sunday afternoons with families, napping, watching football, or getting stuff done around the house.
Many youth ministry leader trainings are nothing more than band-aid meetings. By that, I mean youth pastors helping volunteers know how to better control kids, relate to teens, or address specific issues students are going through. While there is a time and a space for peripheral issues, that is precisely what they are…peripheral issues. Things going on around the central focus of seeing students engage with the gospel in community.
This year our trainings will be less, “here is how to keep a teenagers attention,” and more theology driven.
I believe that if trainings are centered around core doctrine and theology, we will see the depth of our leaders and the quality of our groups increase. For example, this Sunday we taught our leaders about the “Knowability of God.” We concentrated on the idea that while God is incomprehensible, He has chosen to reveal himself to us in a variety of ways and desires for us to ever pursue Him and His will.
After camping on this idea for a bit, we then turned and helped them understand why this is important for students. We examined how discussing integrity and purity are mere behavioral modification discussions unless they are centered in how doing these things help us further know God and walk in His will.
In student ministry, we must make the theological turn. I know authors like Andrew Root are doing a great job of leading in this direction and we would be wise to follow.
If you are looking for where to begin, I would suggest picking up one of a few resources:
1. Christian Belief: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem – 9 bucks & streamlined
2. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem – more robust but $32 bucks
3. Taking Theology to Youth Ministry by Andrew Root – youth centered & $11 bucks
(Complete Transparency – The above links are affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you buy a book. This goes toward keeping The Youth Ministry Blog awesome, so thanks in advance if you chose to get one! I only offer resources I believe will be helpful for you.)
Whether you use one of the above resources or if you already have a book on doctrine and theology, come up with a plan for your leaders. Look at the number of trainings you plan to have and let your leaders know where you hope to go and what you hope to accomplish this year. Cast vision for the trainings. Get them excited about diving deeper and show them how it will benefit their Small Groups.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this. I would love to answer them. Comment below and let me know how you plan to train leaders this year!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Photo-on-2-20-13-at-4.14-PM.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Student Pastor at LifePoint Church in Plano, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask, Email David.[/author_info] [/author]