Friday, October 22, 2010

Be Who You Are Part II

Yesterday I wrote about Be who you are and after reading it, I felt there was still somethings I wanted to say.  I think that too often in youth ministry, we try to be who we are not because we do not take the time or are told to take the time to get trained in ministry.  If you attend NYWC or Simply Conference, you can go around to all the exhibits grab some free curriculum or even buy every single one.  You can pretty much pick up everything in the exhibit hall including entering to win a free iPad, iPhone 4, Macbook, and more.  The only thing you can't pick up is the stylish youth pastor goatee, the Rob Bell hipster glasses, and the designer clothes of Steven Furtick.

You can take all these things, go back to your local church and try them out.   But most fail to look at the demographics and needs of their own groups.  We get all this free stuff or buy the latest and greatest series and videos and try to pass them on to our group.  Too often they fail, because they were not made for our group.  We do not take the time to adapt them to our group.  We hit play and we hope for the best.  
Instead we need to take the same time we do to build relationships with our students to understand their spiritual needs.  

I admit, I have been caught in this trap.  I have a book shelf of resources that I bought, tried a couple weeks and failed with them.  I was too caught up in the hype of the product, book, or video series to see that my students did not need this.  Or if they did I did not adapt it to my group.   It was a tough lesson to learn. 

So where do we go from here?  What do we do?

I'm not saying boycott Simply Youth, Group Publishing, or Youth Specialties and just write your own resources.  I'm saying, take the time to know your group, know your students, and know your leaders.   Take time in prayer to see where God is leading you to lead your group.   Take the time if you buy a resource to adapt it to the lives of your students.  Take the time to explain to your adults why you are using this resource.  Communicate with the parents and get them involved.  Take the time to let God shape and mold you to the youth worker He wants you to be, not a carbon copy youth pastor who has a goatee, Rob Bell glasses, designer clothes, carrying a shoulder bag with your Mac Book, iPad, and iPhone.

Be Who You Are Called to Be....YOU

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