Recently Greg Stier sent me a piece that he wrote for my group, and today I thought I would allow you to read what he shared:
Are you the Coach or the Quarterback?
"Many of us come to youth ministry evangelism from an invitational mindset. We've been all about encouraging our students to invite their friends out to youth group so the unreached can hear an adult tell them about Jesus. In this invitational evangelism model, when the unchurched show up at our weekly meetings or organized outreach activities, many of us see ourselves as the team quarterback who's there to lob the quick touchdown pass and nail the 'conversion' point.What a great message! Thanks Greg, for investing in youth workers!
Now don't get me wrong, I believe it's critically important that we give the gospel each week at our youth group meetings and that we rejoice over every soul who gets introduced to Jesus through our meetings. But I'm convinced that we would see even more fruit from our evangelism efforts if we shifted our perspective away from being the quarterback who's standing at the ready to deliver the touchdown pass, and instead started to see ourselves as the team coach.
The coach's job is to train and equip the individual members of the team with the skills they need to get off the bench and into the game themselves. (Check out Ephesians 4:11-13.) The coach's job is to explain the strategy, refine the skill sets and techniques and motivate the team to bring their best to the game.
Evangelism can't just be an occasional curriculum topic we brush up against once or twice a year, or even a quarterly outreach meeting we organize with all the bells and whistles. It has to be a mindset we're cultivating year round in our students as we coach them week in and week out so they can get off the bench and into the game.
Wouldn't it be awesome if it were our teens who were initiating spiritual conversations and sharing their faith one-on-one with their friends? When another teen comes to them stressed out about grades or hurting because someone backstabbed them, what better way for our teens to step into the distress and talk about the strength and comfort they've found from having a personal relationship with God? Or imagine the impact if they'd bring Jesus into the conversation with their friends who are looking for direction or purpose in life.
But this will only happen if your teenagers see themselves as players in the game. So are you coaching and equipping the teens in your spiritual care to do the work of evangelism? Or are you behaving more like the quarterback than the coach?
You don't have to be gifted or "an expert" in evangelism to coach your team. But you should be leading the way by your own example, seeking to personally share your faith with others and letting your teens in on your efforts, sharing with them about both your successes and failures. The example of your own life, coupled with your intentional efforts to coach your teens regarding the basic gospel-sharing essentials, will get your students owning their faith, sharing it with friends and seeing people reached with the gospel."
Greg is currently on a tour all across the country to help train teens to share their faith with their friends. It's a tour called "Game Day" and you should check it out...
Oh, and I'd love for you to be a part of my next Coaching Network group! I'm only accepting 10 members. I'll be officially opening registration on Monday but if you'd like to try to secure your spot early you can [apply here] now!
Here's the scoop: YM360 has teamed up with LeaderTreks to create DNOWONLINE.com, a comprehensive solution for your Disciple Now or Weekend Retreat needs.
DNOWONLINE.com is loaded with so many features -- large group outlines, small group lessons, videos you can use, incredible student resources, online video training for your facilitators and instructions to lead you step-by-step in how to use the site.
The past two weeks I spent some time tooling around the site and I really like what I see! The curriculum is great... the site is user-friendly...there are a number of resources to help pull off just about any retreat weekend I'm planning... and its affordable too! This is a no-brainer ... sign.me.up!
Check out this video and then head over to DNOWONLINE.com to try it out for yourself.
RSS subscribers: there is [video] here.
Earlier this year we challenged our students in a number of ways to get them reading the scriptures. Two of my favorite challenges: the B90X challenge and the 30 Day Bible Challenge. Those were not original ideas, but I loved them... and they worked well. We saw many students rise to the challenge to read the scriptures.
Now I've come up with what I think is great (original) idea that will continue to challenge students to get in the Word this new year... but I'm having some trouble coming up with a fitting name for it. This is where you come in. I want you to help me name\theme it.One of the things that people say prevents them from reading the Bible is time ("not enough time" or even "remembering to take time" to do it). I came up with an idea that helps take those excuses way. This idea, I believe, will help students to take a little time (at least a moment or two) to read the scriptures and will also help keep them accountable to do it. I even added some competition to the idea, which I love (because, yes, I am a bit competitive).
Here's the idea:
I would like to challenge students to READ one (at least ONE) scripture each day for 30 days. After they read a scripture that they find meaningful to them (and hopefully meditate on it a bit), they will be asked to TEXT that scripture in to our student ministry (a number we'll provide them with). Here's the thing though... (and where it really becomes even more of a challenge), if they miss a day they have to start ALL over!
So, now that you know my idea, what are your thoughts? Can you help me come up with a fitting name for this challenge? Leave your ideas in the comments field!
Top 5 Lessons Learned (in Youth Ministry) in First Two Years:
1. Take time for rest and recreation - It's very easy to be overcome with your responsibilities on the job. One of the key lessons you'll learn in your first few years in ministry is to take time for rest and recreation. Make sure you don't cheat yourself of solitude anda sabbath. This is an issue for many ministers, so it might be a good thing to get someone to hold you accountable.
2. Your students aren't 'stupid' kids - Can you remember the first time that you've seen the students you lead as young people that God can use and not just "kids"? One of the things that made our list is learning that our students can be ministers. This is actually why I am such a huge advocate for student-led ministry. When you allow students to lead you see what amazing things God can do through them more clearly.
3. Know your boundaries - Many of the lessons you'll learn in your first few years in youth ministry you'll actually need to recall for years to come. One of the most valuable lessons you'll learn is about the importance of boundaries. Creating and respecting boundaries will not only protect you (and others) but will help keep you in ministry for the long haul. Without question one of the most important boundaries: don't counsel someone of the opposite sex alone.
4. Don't miss out on the opportunity to befriend your Pastor - You might find yourself working in a ministry where your Lead Pastor pursues you... but not everyone can say that. Quite often you might need to befriend your pastor. You would think this wouldn't be an issue in ministry but it is. In fact, one of the biggest reasons youth workers leave their positions is because of the relationship (or lack thereof) with their pastor. Even if you are working for a mega-church and can't really build a relationship with the Senior Leader you can do this with your direct reports. It's refreshing to work in an environment when you have a great relationship with your Lead Pastor. I've worked with some pastors who were distant and others that I found easier to build a relationship with. In both cases I know there were opportunities missed for me to be a great friend (and minister) to my pastor.
5. Remember that God has chosen you - Youth workers often have a hard time in ministry. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked personally "when will you pursue a 'real pastor position'?" This goes to show you how ignorant people are -- seriously. In the thick of ministry you may struggle and wonder if you are too inexperienced, not good enough, and how you'll ever make it another day. Never forget... if God has chosen you that is all that matters. Cling to the truth of God's calling on your life.
I'd love for you to be a part of my next Coaching Network... launching in January. Registration opens next week! Feel free to drop me an email right now if you would like more information. The Youth Worker Coaching Network is sponsored by: Simply Youth Ministry, Bethel Students, and interlinc! If you want to join my team of sponsors, contact me.
I loved Josh Griffin's "Facebook Hack" game idea that he shared on his blog a few months ago. It inspired me to not only play that game with students but I ended up creating another game as well... "The Facebook Stalker" game.
The idea I had behind this game was really two-fold. I wanted to leverage Social Media a little bit more and encourage students to share with their friends via mobile updates to their Facebooks that they were at church (at our event), but I also wanted to have a fun (and engaging) crowd game to play during our time together. We encouraged our students early in the evening to update their statuses saying they were at our event (you could do this with a simple slide on the screen too) and then later in the evening we had our media tech pull up random Facebook accounts (from random students we selected ahead of time) on the screen LIVE during our event!
If the student had updated their status (prior to our playing the game) to reflect that they were at our church event they won a prize. If they didn't they were a big fat loser!
This Facebook game was a win... and students loved it!
interlinc has been around since the mid 80's and exists to provide youth workers in getting quality Christian music to their students! The staff at interlinc doesn't just talk youth ministry though... many of their staff members serve in youth ministries!
To celebrate the new partnership interlinc is offering ministry leaders 13 Christmas songs for FREE (for a limited time only!). In order to redeem the FREE music all you have to do is call the wonderful folks at interlinc at 800-725-3300 and tell them you're looking for the "Terrace Crawford deal." You will be given a redemption code and will be able to download your music right away! It's just that simple! You must hurry though...operators are standing by! (tee-hee)
I'm stoked about the relaunch to my Coaching Network in January 2012. The last few months of coaching have been very fulfilling for me. If you are a youth worker who has been in the field 5 years or less and need a coach, send me an email (or tweet me @terracecrawford) and I'll contact you with the information!
Now we've turned things over to you to vote on those (4) final stories and pick the youth worker you think should be given the $1,500+. You may vote for up to two youth workers once per day until December 20, 2011 at 11:59PM. The youth worker who receives the most votes will receive all the money just in time for Christmas.
Here's the thing though... the youth worker can receive even MORE money if you either purchase a copy of Tim Schmoyer's latest ebook "Focused Youth Ministry" or buy a watch from IWontWatch.com (as half of the proceeds from these items will go to the fund!). Click on the videos below ... listen to the stories ... and vote with your heart.