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Invest in Youth Workers

How to deposit the right kind of motivation into these vital ministers

Growing up, I’d often see my mom the scout leader wearing a crazy hat. It had two bills pointing in different directions, and the caption above them read: “I’m their leader. Which way did they go?” While this was a funny message as a kid, for an adult leader this poses an important question. The key to leading scouts—and volunteer youth workers—is the same: Give them motivating reasons to want to follow.

Begin with the end in mind. Developing adolescent disciples is a worthy endeavor and a wild ride. Helping youth workers remember that the goal is always to build into teens and their families the tools to be lifelong followers of Jesus is critical. Tip: Keep the goal of what the youth ministry is about short and memorable. Talk about it often. Put it in easy view 
everywhere—on shirts, banners, even pop quizzes on the ceiling. Whatever it takes.

Appreciate their contribution and investment. Caring for teens and their families has a way of sneaking into every area of a youth worker’s life. This is not just a-couple-of-hours-a-week gig for them. Honor this investment. Tip: Handwritten notes of encouragement and thanks are not only timely but also special. Anybody can write an e-mail or Facebook post, but hardly anyone gets snail mail these days; so go “old school” and use the post office. read more

Youth Gone Wild

Twenty or 30 years ago, the average church youth ministry consisted of monthly pizza-and-movie nights, sadly, many churches are still using the same approach to minister to young people and (not surprisingly) seeing minimal results. read more

Last Chance

Tomorrow's media executives, politicians, school teachers and business titans are today's teens. Have you reached them? read more

Mayo's Clinic

Jeanne shares 35 secrets for a youth pastor's longevity, success and spiritual health. read more

Wait Training

The world screams a message that makes sex seem common, casual and cheap, but for the most part, ministers aren't talking. read more

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