The number of full-time student ministry leaders is shrinking across the board and the number of students who are connecting in high school and then sticking with faith afterward is also dwindling.
It’s not difficult. But, ministry to students is the job of the whole church.
We must seek to build relationships with the next generation. We must connect them, in meaningful ways, to other adults in the church who love Jesus.
Student need a sense of belonging and the teenage years is a critical time to help wire them for a life of seeking and living for Christ.
Youth Workers – paid and volunteer – need to be reminded of this and equipped to keep moving forward!
This year, at The Well, a seminar for youth workers, the two topics are:
— CREATING A MINISTRY OF BELONGING
— THE TEENAGE BRAIN
[see video at the bottom of this post]
These topics will be presented by nationally known youth ministry mentor Mark Oestreicher. In addition, at each site, we will have a meal together and time for connection with other youth workers.
This three-hour seminar (hosted in three Illinois cities, is perfect for student ministry leaders, volunteers, pastors or parents.
ABOUT THE WELL
The Well began in 2005 as a way to help encourage and equip youth workers around the state of Illinois. Each event is a partnership between Harvest Conferences and the host church. You can find out more at http://harvestministryteams.com/events/category/conferences/thewell/.
NOTES FROM MARK OESTREICHER
Marko has been a speaker for countless conferences and leaders over the years. If you’ve been in student ministry for any length of time, there’s no doubt you’ve heard him or heard about him. Here are a few notes from his session during the DYM National Youth Worker Training Event:
Instead of seeing teens as a problem to be solved, try viewing them as a wonder to behold.Mark Oestreicher
Youth workers are among the list of people who help hardwire the brains of teens to live a life of vibrant faith.Mark Oestreicher
How we help students learn to serve, learn to ask questions, and learn to engage with the gospel becomes an issue of stewardship.Mark Oestreicher
A teenager’s brain can be developed through prayer, meditation and spiritual singing… and helps them understand God, as personal compassionate and other than themselves.Mark Oestreicher
“Did you follow Jesus into this? Can you follow Jesus out of this?” I thought this was an awesome grace filled response o give kids a chance to reboot.Mark Oestreicher
The anterior cingulate study was fascinating! I think I missed a bunch in my note-taking, but in general, it’s common knowledge that a teenager’s brain is still developing. The typical response may be to assume adults and teens are on uncurably different planes. In reality, we should have a posture of “curiosity” when working with this age group. We also need to create a safe place for our older teens to test. And we need to be filled with grace and mercy and love for your teen as you watch them go through this phase.