Teaming Up With Teachers

There is a segment of the population that youth pastors ignore and frankly we’re missing out. I’m talking about school teachers. Think about this. We get 1-3 hours a week with our students. Teachers get 10-15 hours a week (teachers who coach get significantly more time). Teachers also have access to many more unchurched kids and parents than we will ever hope to influence. That means if we really care about the teens in our cities, then we must find ways to partner with school teachers.

One of my former middle schoolers is now a history teacher in our city. He allows me to spend time in his classroom from time to time and each time I do so it’s an eye opening experience. I see the challenges he faces each day. Not only does he have to motivate kids to learn, he’s also teaching them life skills such as time management, appropriate social interaction, and responsibility. He is a hero in my book because he takes his calling seriously.

Youth pastors can be hesitant to reach out to schools because we’ve been told by the media that schools don’t want us there. While schools may have an official policy against youth pastors evangelizing on campus, most of them want as much community involvement as possible. Chances are there is a teacher in your church who can be a gatekeeper to get on campus. Work with them to help you find a way to get involved in the school.

I’ve found that most teachers genuinely do care for their students and want to make a difference. They are our allies in reaching teens for Christ. Partnership with teachers is something that every youth worker needs in their ministry.

Here’s what I believe effective partnership looks like:

Encourage Them – Most teachers carry the weight of educating kids who are unmotivated and unequipped to learn. They face pressures from parents and administrators. They get beaten down by the system and the day to day grind of teaching. How amazing would it be if you adopted a teacher and made it your ministry to make them feel valued by your church? Write them notes. Bake them some cookies. Give them a gift card. It doesn’t take much to make them feel loved and appreciated for pouring into teens.

Listen to Them – Teachers see and hear things from your students that you will never get to observe. They have valuable insights on what teens are really like. They also can help us become better communicators. I’ve learned a lot about the students in my ministry simply by asking teachers for their opinions. Start a practice of regularly meeting with a teacher and learn from them. You could even invite them to come talk to your leaders and have them share what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Serve Them – Teachers have a lot of busy work that can weigh them down. Volunteer to grade some tests or make copies. Many teachers must provide their own school supplies (papers, pencils…). Serve them by getting some of those needs met. Try asking how you can pray for them and their students.

When we serve teachers we are really serving our students. Each teacher we partner with means 25-30 more students we are impacting. It means another adult who is encouraged to shape the teens we love. Healthy communities require a healthy partnership between churches and schools. What is one thing you going to do to bridge that gap this week?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]

Maranatha

This week our student ministry has been walking through a tradition of ours called Maranatha. Maranatha is a word that can be translated as “Our Lord Come.” It’s not a word we use or hear a lot today, but for the early church it carried great importance. It was a reminder… a reminder that Jesus would come again. It was a source of hope. The early church would say it to one another as a an expression of joy that their Lord would come back one day, but also to remember they needed to be praying for His return. It became so common that the early church would use it as they greeted one another. There was an understanding that Jesus would return and they needed to prepare themselves and anticipate it.

We are commanded in Scripture to be looking and praying for the return of Jesus. “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” 2 Peter 3:12. It’s a reminder that this world is not all that there is. We have a promise of a greater future with Jesus.

Another part of waiting for the return of the bridegroom is found in Mark chapter two. People come to Jesus and ask “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Let’s be honest, they really want to know why Jesus’ disciples don’t look as religious as these other guys. Ok Jesus, if your supposed to be this great man, teacher, and possibly the Messiah, then why don’t your guys fast like those other disciples. How come they look more religious than your guys do? It’s funny how religion can become a competition for us.

Jesus says that fasting has changed now that the bridegroom (Messiah, Savior) is now with them, but there will come a day when  He is taken away and “then they will fast in that day.”

Then they will fast…

Jesus seems to understand that when He is taken away his disciples will fast. He does not give exclusions or ways out of this, just simply that they will fast. When I first understood this I was floored. When I was saved in high school, I was a part of a church where if anyone was fasting they certainly weren’t talking about it. No one had ever taught me about fasting or showed me how to fast, and here’s this clear call from Jesus to fast. Once I realized this and began to fast, I saw the great importance and benefits of fasting. Because of this, I made a clear decision to teach and tell others about the discipline of fasting.

Today, I lead a youth ministry full of some pretty awesome students, some of which have expressed a strong desire to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus.  I wanted to provide an opportunity present the heartbeat of Maranatha and fasting to them. Since, it is a call in Scripture I wanted my students to learn this in a biblical way. We need to be praying for Christ’s return and fasting for the Bridegroom that has left us. Out of this came our Maranatha week. We spend one week a semester in fasting and prayer.

Maybe you are thinking, “How could he ask students to fast from food for a week?” and some of you extra religious types are thinking “Fasting is to be done in private!” First off, we do not ask students to fast from food, but to fast from something that will allow them to spend more time with God and in prayer. (Television, social media, their phone, their snooze button) To the other objection, we see throughout Scripture that there were times of corporate fasting where it was one voice crying out for God. There are many disciplines (quiet time, prayer, fasting) that are intended for the individual alone, but if we don’t teach them how to biblicaly practice these things then how will they learn?

These weeks have been amazing. We started this two years ago and I still have adults that can’t fathom young people giving up their cell phones, television, or social media to spend more time with God… but they do. Given a challenge like this, your students will surprise you. Our students rally around it, they ask one another before we begin what they will be fasting from. They encourage one another to stay strong and hold each other accountable. We meet every night from 7-8 for prayer and students come and go. We pray for Jesus’ return and for students in our community to know Him. It has been especially refreshing for me as a pastor. We can get caught up in the big events, loud music, teaching, and games that we rarely stop to have quiet moments of prayer with our students.

I talk about the spiritual disciplines often with our students and I would encourage you to try something like this with your students. You may need to change some things to better fit your group, but here are some suggestions when talking about fasting:

1. You can talk about fasting and ease students into it. You would have parents freaking out if you told their students not to eat for a week. Plus, with athletes and young people it’s not good for them to be skipping meals. So, I spend time teaching about fasting from things that hold us back from spending more time with God and introduce food fasting. This gives them a clear line of growth and we’ve had some of our older students give up a meal.

2. Make sure they know the focus of fasting. We focus on Jesus and not what we’re doing.

3. Be sure to teach on it. You would be amazed at how many students know very little about fasting or that it is a Christian discipline.

4. Not everyone is able to fast because of health reasons. If someone has trouble with eating disorders or can not physically do it, then they should not feel ashamed. This is where fasting from other stuff becomes so important.

5. Show them how important it is to say “God is greater than anything else in my life.” If you cannot give up television for a week to spend more time with God, it might be an idle in your life.

If you are not currently fasting, may this be an encouragement and challenge to seek out this spiritual discipline. God gives breakthrough and speaks in powerful ways through fasting.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/BrandonWeir.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Brandon Weir is the Student Pastor at The Fellowship Round Rock near Austin, TX. What does Brandon love? “I love my wife Jules, my dog Ranger, Texas Tech, being outdoors, the Texas Rangers, camping, hiking, reading, Torchy’s Tacos and I love me some Jesus.”

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You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

 

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My favorite Christmas movie of all time is the Christmas Story. I’ve seen this movie every year for the past 20 years! Every time I watch it, I notice new nuances that extend my love for the story.  Yet one theme remains that speaks to me year after year.

A common thread throughout the movie is Ralphie asking for a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Every time he asks the adults in his life for the gun, he continually bumps into opposition from them. Every response of theirs is the same: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” On Christmas morning, Ralphie looks frantically for a box that could hold this BB gun but to no avail. He receives several presents but is disappointed that he did not get the gun. As he accepts this fact and sits with his parents, his dad points out a hidden present, the BB gun. By giving Ralphie a BB gun, his dad takes the risk of placing him in a position that comes with great responsibility. In doing so, Ralphie’s dad also communicates to his son, “I believe in you.”

Every time I see this movie, I’m reminded of the opportunity we have as youth pastors to challenge, empower, and equip our students. Believing in a student’s potential is one of the most powerful actions we can do. Think about a person who believed in you. What have you done in your life because someone believed in you? Now, let’s turn these thoughts toward the students in our ministry who are waiting to be challenged to a higher calling of leadership–the ones who are desperately looking for someone to believe in them. Are you willing to challenge, empower and equip these students?

If you are willing, you can call students into leadership.  I am convinced that a healthy, thriving student ministry needs to place students in positions of leadership–real leadership, not just stacking chairs and running slides. We need to cast a vision that ultimately challenges them to take part in extending the Kingdom of God through the great commission. Here are four ways to call students into leadership:

Provide Structure: Provide a structure of next steps so students know exactly what’s expected and how to proceed. Create a system and make sure it doesn’t communicate that students can “arrive” to a level of greatness. Leadership is ultimately a call to humility.

Personally Ask: Talk one-on-one with your students and paint a picture of what it would look like for them to lead in your ministry. Try it this week. Put a caring arm around one of them and say, “I’ve been noticing that you have an amazing heart! I believe God can use that heart for his purposes.” Don’t just say it once. Repeat it and rephrase it often.

Talk To Others: Talk to the people you know in your church and ask them who they believe in. After you’ve gathered some names, go to those students and encourage them by saying, “I talked to ‘Pedro’ and he really believes that you can be a leader in our ministry. I’d like to invite you to consider this opportunity.”

Be Strategic: Approach students who are already showing signs of biblical leadership because they are currently serving in your ministry. Jesus turned the world’s leadership model upside down when he required leaders to serve. Don’t simply focus on the popular kids but look to those who are serving.

Who do you believe in? Are you willing to challenge, empower and equip that student?  There are students in your ministry who have never had someone believe in them because of the risk involved. They could shoot their eye out, but the risk is worth taking.

 

– I dedicate this blog to the youth pastors who believed in me, Josh McCasland and Kevin Libick.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Johnny-Farr.png[/author_image] [author_info]Johnny Farr works in youth ministry at Christ Chapel Bible Church in Forth Worth, TX. He is in the process of launching a student ministry for a new multi-site! Follow Johnny on Twitter: @JonathanLFarr

 

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TYMB 005: Youth Ministry Chat with Josh Robinson

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CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

Highlights:

  • The more time you spend in ministry, the LESS events you want to do.
  • Do fewer events and make them higher quality.
  • Put more energy & resources into your WEEKLY ministry.
  • Don’t Event yourself to death.
  • We don’t have to keep our students busy to protect them from the world!
  • “Your job is to mobilize students & volunteers to fulfill God’s calling on their life.”

These are just a FEW of the tips Josh offered us! Take a listen for yourself!

Also, check out Josh’s blog!

We would love to hear from you! Please rate & leave a comment if this podcast was helpful!

Student Pastors, Love Your Wife!

You have heard people say, “a HAPPY WIFE leads to a HAPPY LIFE” or “If SHE ain’t HAPPY then NO ONE is HAPPY” and this is soooooooooo true!

Just like we should make spending time with God a priority, we must make spending time with our wife a priority!! She needs to feel LOVED and feel as though she is more important than your ministry because she is!

If your MARRIAGE FAILS then your MINISTRY FAILS! Make DATING your WIFE a DISCIPLINE! Make LOVING your wife a PRIORITY! Put her on your prayer list not only to pray for her but so you remember her daily and how blessed you are to have her!! Write down special dates in your calendar so you don’t forget to remember days!

HAVE a DATE NIGHT

Pick a night during the week and make that date night for you and your wife. Don’t let anyone interfere with that night. If you have kids, hire a babysitter that night or if that is too expensive make a deal with another couple that you will watch their kids one night if you watch theirs one night. You and your spouse will begin to look forward to that night! We must be INTENTIONAL when it comes to our wives!

SPEAK her LOVE LANGUAGE

I, for the longest time didn’t know my wife’s love language! I was writing her a note instead of figuring out her love language was gifts and quality time. This will help you tremendously by allowing her to FEEL LOVED!

If you don’t know each other’s love languages set aside some time tonight to take the 5-minute test to discover what they are!

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

God wants you to LOVE your WIFE BETTER than you LOVE His!

Your students and children need to see how much you LOVE your wife and how important she is to you! Students especially need to see more couples who love each other and see examples of Godly dating/marriage!

Don’t let her question for a second that you don’t think she is important!

Ephesians 5:25
New International Version (NIV)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Michael-Hux.png[/author_image] [author_info]

Michael Hux is the Student Pastor of Team Church in Matthews, NC.

Connect with Michael on Twitter or Instagram: @_Hux

 

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The Disciplines of Youth Ministry

Our team has been challenged to think about the rhythms of our work week in order to work together more effectively. As I was looking over a “typical” week in ministry (if there is such a thing) I noticed some recurring themes. There are a few weekly habits that I do every week and I keep doing them in order to have a vibrant life in ministry.

In the Christian life we have daily/weekly/monthly/yearly habits that help us remain connected to our Creator. In student ministry I have habits, or disciplines, that keep me going in the right direction. I’m not saying that my list is the best list, but it’s worked for me and might spur on thoughts for your own life. Some of these disciplines didn’t come naturally early on in my ministry but through constant practice they have become a natural part of my life. That’s what a discipline does, it trains us to become natural at what doesn’t come naturally.

Discipline # 1 – Planned Inefficiency. I realize that inefficiency can have a negative connotation in the American church. We strive for effective time management and productivity. The problem is that when I get to the end of the week and have not slowed down to read/think/pray I end up losing my creative edge and my passion. At the surface, slowing down for reflection seems like the worst use of time, but in the long run it fills my well with great ideas and new ministry direction. So my discipline is to spend at least two hours a week in prayer/reading/reflecting to create the mindset I need.

Discipline # 2 – Time With Teens. This is an obvious one so I’ll make it short. It’s amazing how many youth pastors I know of who don’t spend time with teens of any sort. I don’t get it. It’s like the restaurant owner who never stops to taste a meal. I NEED regular time with teens or else I will go crazy. That’s how I know I still love student ministry. Middle schoolers keep me sane. So my discipline is that I get together for breakfast once a week with a small group of guys. It’s the highlight of my week.

Discipline # 3 – Parent Communication. Each Tuesday I send out a parent email. The content is information, training and encouragement. I’ve found that having this weekly discipline keeps ministry to parents on the forefront of my mind. It reminds me weekly that an effective ministry engages, equips, and partners with parents.

Discipline # 4 – Leader Development. My leaders need constant care and empowerment. If I let even one week go by without engaging them then I am draining the lifeblood out of our ministry. I need a discipline of leader development so I don’t try to do ministry on my own. So my discipline is to send a leader email each week and have at least one face to face meeting each week.

Discipline # 5 – Church Connection. Our team leader remarked this morning that some of us come into the office to get stuff done, others come into the office to connect with others. I am definitely a connector. I find that if I spend too much time working from a coffee shop I lose touch with the pulse of the rest of the church. I know that I need to make a habit of being in the office so I can bump into people, share stories and hear what’s going on. When I neglect this discipline I become solo artist instead of a true team player.

What are your weekly disciplines? What habits do you practice to make sure you are heading in the right direction? Are there any that you need to start doing this week?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]

Boo

Jimmy Kimmel has done a bit the last couple of years where he asks parents to tell their kids that they ate all of their Halloween candy, and then video the response. It’s my favorite part of Halloween. I love to see the kids go absolutely ballistic when they don’t get their way. I need to know who my future politicians will be (low blow?). It makes me excited to be a dad some day. You should pray for my future kids. The rest of Halloween I could do without. You could say I don’t fancy Halloween much. I don’t enjoy all the dark images, demons, and evil that surrounds it and I definitely don’t trust candy from strangers. I know it makes me sound old school, kind of like your grandma, but I have never liked it.

The truth is that the rest of the world seems to be going in the opposite direction. Before I moved to Round Rock, TX (original name I know), I barely saw Halloween decorations, but now our neighborhoods are filled with them… my neighborhood is filled with them. It makes me wonder about the kind of people living around me when their yards are filled with bats, ghosts, tombstones, dead bodies (fake I hope), and all sorts of ghouls. I’m just trying to survive this crazy holiday.

Don’t get the wrong impression though, just because I don’t like Halloween does not mean I’m the kind of youth pastor that rants to my students about how terrible it is. There are battles I choose to fight and spend my time on in youth ministry…this isn’t one of them. I won’t spend Wednesday night talking about how it’s wrong to go to haunted houses or dress up. I will ask my students to be safe and wear appropriate costumes.

As youth pastors we have to be mindful of the tone we take about such matters. Blasting Halloween may remove your opportunity to talk about the deeper issues of the holiday. Halloween carries a ton of spiritual aspects and image struggles for students, whether it’s girls with their body image or people simply wanting to be something else. When discussing topics like Halloween, I do not want to be a ministry that simply lays out a bunch of do’s and don’ts, telling people what to think and never teaching it’s people to think for themselves. Choosing to fight a surface level cultural battle may mean you lose the chance to talk about the spiritual war going on. Here’s what I mean…

The other day some people in our Lifegroup of young married couples were talking about one of those demon movies (aren’t all scary movies these days?) and I made an off hand comment that we don’t watch those. They thought this was weird, you could tell. At this point they felt the need to clarify, they said they don’t watch scary movies that could actually happen, but since demons aren’t real then these are fine. To them, movies with demons are okay because they have no real elements of evil within them. These are “good” church going people and they don’t believe demons are real.

Our world has an odd concept of evil. We agree that murder is wrong, rape is wrong, and bullying is wrong. It seems our world has a concept of what’s wrong with the physical world, but when it comes to a spiritual realm we leave that to people with backwards beliefs in third world countries and the charismatics. Many people in the church today do not know or believe in “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

Our churches today have shied away from talking about this realm. We act like it doesn’t exist. Often, celebrating Halloween the way that the world celebrates it, lifts high the spiritual evil and darkness of the world. It magnifies darkness, death, evil, fear, anxiety, and demons. While I will concede that most of this is done in the name of “good fun” and “pretend”, I would contend that this ignorance and embracing of evil is the greater problem. Many people are worshiping darkness without understanding what they are doing.

demon treats

For many students, you are the most spiritual person they know in their lives.
It’s my prayer that when you speak to your students about Halloween you will use it as an example to teach truth about the spiritual realm. This holiday opens up massive opportunities to have honest spiritual conversations. We can not run from it or ban it. Our world today is more interested in it than ever and it’s not going away any time soon, no matter how much you yell about it from the stage. Let’s be youth ministries that respond and teach well, no matter our preferences.

And for all you Halloween people, enjoy seeing all the foxes, Miley Cyrus’, Monsters’ U, Minions, and whatever else is popular right now. I’ll be on my front porch chilling, handing out candy and watching out for crazy neighbors.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/BrandonWeir.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Brandon Weir is the Student Pastor at The Fellowship Round Rock near Austin, TX. What does Brandon love? “I love my wife Jules, my dog Ranger, Texas Tech, being outdoors, the Texas Rangers, camping, hiking, reading, Torchy’s Tacos and I love me some Jesus.”

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Tips on Planning a Retreat

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One of my favorite kind of events that leads students to grow spiritually are retreats. It creates an opportunity to get away and focus upon investing in their lives.

But how do we plan effective, life-changing retreats?

The first question we must ask is, “Why are you doing it?”

Purpose of retreat: Leading students to imitate Christ through spiritual growth, building relationships and worship.

Steps to planning

Retreat parent letter with info (mail out 3-4 weeks before the event)
- Create a promo video that highlights the event (Answer these questions: Why should I go? What is it? What will I miss if I don’t go?)
Scholarship Form 2013 (allows us to help students who can’t come up with the money for the retreat)
– T-shirt design
– Small Group team names for the retreat
– Online sign-ups
– Brochure sign-ups with medical release form included
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Mega Relay Challenge (big relay race on Saturday of the retreat)
– Name tags (the front is for students to write their names in with sharpies and the back is pre-made with the schedule)
– Food (breakdown each meal to a cost per student)

Leaders

– Small group books
– Host Homes
– Transportation list

Strategy

- We planned a “pump up” night the week prior to the retreat to prepare small groups and help them grow in unity before the retreat even started.
– We enjoyed a recap night the following week so students could share testimonies in their small groups of life-change.

Examples of what I use to plan a retreat:
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What would you add to the list of tips on planning a retreat? 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/joshrobinson.png[/author_image] [author_info]Josh is the student pastor at Church @ The Springs in Ocala, Florida (www.thesprings.net). Josh has served in student ministry for 9+ years and has a passion to lead students to imitate Christ and influence the world! He has a personal blog at http://joshrobinson.cc[/author_info] [/author]

Ministry is a PRIVILEGE!

Ministry isn’t the easiest job at all. It’s extremely messy because I’m a sinner dealing with other sinners. It takes a lot of prayer. It’s sometimes inconvenient and there are times that are very tough but this isn’t something that you should dread and it is something that you should look forward to every Monday morning!

Because…

Never forget that people are giving their lives around the world to do what we do!

Praise God every chance you get that He has given you the opportunity to carry His name and share His name.

We GET to share GOOD NEWS!

We GET to teach any student anything from GODS WORD!

We GET to help parents point their student to JESUS!

We GET to get PAID for it! (Even if it’s not that much)

We should not expect our society or the news media or the entertainment industry to honor us as we carry out our Lord’s commands.

“Ministry is not a right, it is a privilege. Its not about the messenger, its about the MESSAGE!” –James MacDonald

By nature we are not worthy to be called one of his children, let alone his spokesman or ambassador. Nevertheless he gives us that glorious privilege to serve him in this way.

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, Lord, not to us 
but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Michael-Hux.png[/author_image] [author_info]

Michael Hux is the Student Pastor of Team Church in Matthews, NC.

Connect with Michael on Twitter or Instagram: @_Hux

 

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Make the Most of Flop Events

I can see it coming already. Sometimes you realize that events are a bust when the doors open. This time I know it’s going to be poorly attended already a few days out. This Friday is the perfect storm of school dances, homecoming games and birthday parties that compete with a small group fellowship game night. Even the guys from my own small group students aren’t coming because of a school dance. These scheduling conflicts are things I didn’t know about when we put the calendar together months ago. I was really excited about this event. We really felt like it was creative and risky and would be a great way to give our small groups ownership and community.

In the midst of the discouragement. I am finding joy and contentment because I know that this just one event…one of hundreds I’ve put on over the years. Most of which I can’t really remember. Some of them were amazing and some were busts. When facing the reality of a flop event remember these things.

I’m glad we took a risk. Once a year I like to try an event we’ve never done before. It’s easy to do the old standard events year after year, but innovation and imagination aren’t sparked that way. The moment you stop trying new ideas is the moment you stop growing as a leader. Sometimes the risk will pay off big time, other times they will flop. You’ll never discover the great ideas unless you are willing to risk the flop. This week I was blindsided by something I didn’t even think about (school dances). Next time, I will remember to ask when they are. It’s a lesson I can learn for our next calendar.

“Where is everyone?” NEVER, EVER ASK THIS QUESTION to students at an event. This will give the impressions to the kids who DID show up that it’s OTHER kids who are important. A wise person reminded me long ago that God always brings students into our ministry who need to be there. The students at who show up at a low turnout event are the ones that God wants you to be minister to. Don’t think about who didn’t show up. Think about the ones who did!

Bring the energy anyway. It’s tempting to phone in the energy level when there is a low turnout for an event. Less kids = less effort. As a leader this is death. It’s not fair to the students who did come the event and a bad example for your leaders. I’ve found that you can turn a flop into a success simply by bringing my best energy and excitement along with me.

So when the doors open Friday night I’m going to bring my best energy, be thankful for who shows up and be glad we took a risk. It’s a choice all of us can make when faced with a flop event.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]