New youth advisor youth coordinator webinar
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If you are new to being a Youth Adviser or Youth Coordinator in your congregation, this is the webinar to watch. There is a review of the basics in youth programming, safety issue review, and new ...

If you are new to being a Youth Adviser or Youth Coordinator in your congregation, this is the webinar to watch. There is a review of the basics in youth programming, safety issue review, and new resources/models for youth ministry in UU congregations.

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  •   congregations starting and maintaining youth groups, fostering leadership and spirituality with youth, and building communities wherein all youth are affirmed, empowered, and spiritually nourished.  

New youth advisor youth coordinator webinar Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Midwest UU Leadership New Youth Advisors/Youth Coordinators 101
  • 2. Introductions
  • 3. New Youth Advisor/Youth Coordinator 101 Midwest UU Leadership Nancy Combs-Morgan, MidAmerica Coordinator for Emerging Youth and Young Adult Ministries
  • 4. Where Do You Start?
    • Clarity of roles and structure …
    • are you part of a team of youth advisors (seek a team approach)
    • how will you communicate with one another
    • who is taking “point” in working with your religious educator/minister; RE Committee; YAC; Board; Social Justice Committees?
  • 5. How Do You Begin?
    • Do you have a registration roster
    • What communication vehicles exist for youth in your congregation?
    • Review social networking policies with DRE and/or minister
    • Have you made sure that your information has been given to your DRE for a background check?
  • 6. Before Meeting with the Youth Group
    • Have you met with your fellow youth advisors? Consider a SGM approach… http://www.smallgroupministry.net/
    • Are there greater goals in the congre- gation which the youth group should be responsive to ? Example: Having more multigenerational services or social justice efforts; milestone events; new initiatives (Standing on the Side of Love)
  • 7. Youth Group In-Gathering
    • It’s time for the first youth group/youth class….consider:
    • Hospitality -- recruit at least 2 returning youth to be greeters
    • Be Intentional -- go through last year’s list of participants/visitors to send out a Facebook and/or e-mail invite for the first session
  • 8. In-Gathering, cont.
    • Before the first session
    • recruit adults and youth to make the space welcoming
    • are there special needs considerations…
    • does the space reflect a welcoming feeling for a “new start,” or does the space only reflect former attendees and/or former activities
  • 9. Start As You Mean to Continue
    • Consider a structured session allowing time for fellowship, creativity and for building a covenant
    • Be prepared that first session with a chalice lighting and consider a brief small group ministry session (at least 30 minutes)
  • 10. Creating the Covenant
    • With a youth co-leader in the covenant process
    • begin with a template of former covenants, weave the congregation’s covenant into this (if there is one)
    • Model good facilitation skills in this process, give examples of “Step up, step Back; speaking with one voice; assuming best possible motive, etc…)
  • 11. Resist Going Right to Goals/Task
    • The inclination is often to get right to “work,” setting goals for the year, assigning roles, etc…
    • attend to group process and governance (how decisions are made)
    • Take this time to review the 6 components of a balanced youth program (have the 6 components posted throughout the space)
  • 12. Six Components of A Balanced Youth Program
    • Worship
    • Community Building
    • Social Action
    • Learning
    • Leadership Development
    • Youth-Adult Relations
  • 13. Six “Killers” of a Healthy Youth Program
    • Unqualified Advisors
    • Lack of Planning
    • Unbalanced Activities
    • Unwelcoming Atmosphere
    • Lack of Church Support
    • Bad Communication -- Jack Brand
  • 14. Safe Congregation Issues
    • Review your congregation’s safety policies, covenant with your fellow advisors to adhere to these policies
    • Be on board with these policies – they protect our youth, but are also there for your protection – use a team approach, strive for 2 adults to always be working together with youth
  • 15. Youth Faith Development
    • Unitarian Universalist youth leadership development lays a groundwork for enabling young people to realize that they are moral agents, capable of making a difference in the lives of others…(and to)
    • Accept that they are responsible for the stewardship and creative transformation of their UU religious heritage and community of faith.
    • Vision Statement from Tapestry of Faith: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/62884.shtml
  • 16. Our UU History of Youth Ministry
    • YRUU – one of the most valuable gifts that the YRUU experiences provided to UU youth were leadership development opportunities. Leadership in this model encouraged youth to take responsibility for their own programs.
    • Leadership model of YRUU focused more on consensus and collaboration. Adults working with youth in this leadership model were encouraged to maintain “nondirective leadership.”
    • Youth Advisors Handbook: A Resource for YRUU Advisors
  • 17. Consultation on Ministry to and with Youth
    • Multi-year process of discernment
    • Input actively sought from congregations
    • A time of deep listening on youth ministry
    • We are still in this period of discernment
  • 18. Youth Ministry Working Group – A new direction with five core values….
    • A vision of youth ministry which is:
    • congregationally based
    • spirit and faith centered
    • counter oppressive
    • inclusive and multicultural, and
    • grounded in multigenerational faith communities
    • (Youth Ministry Working Group, www.uua.org/youthministry )
  • 19. The Steps to Building Community
    • For over 20 years one of the central pillars of UU youth ministry was the “Steps to Building Community” – bonding, opening up, affirming, stretching, deeper sharing and goal setting.
    • The “steps” illuminate a group process, but there is a need for a deeper grounding.
    • Do you have a process of evaluating your goals for youth leadership development, using those 6 components: worship, leadership, youth/adult relations; community building, social action and learning?
  • 20. A deeper grounding …
    • Unitarian Universalist congregations are called to start and maintain youth groups; fostering leadership and spirituality with youth, and building communities wherein all youth are affirmed, empowered, and spiritually nourished.
    • Consider integrating four strands… ethical development spiritual development Unitarian Universalist Identity faith development
  • 21. Pathways for Youth Leadership Development
    • Invite youth to plan, participate in and lead worship
    • Create opportunities for youth to engage in spiritual reflection through small group ministries and/or other programs
  • 22. Pathways for Leadership Development
    • Invite and encourage youth to sing in your choir or to provide instrumental music during worship – make sure they are part of the planning and rehearsal process
    • Provide opportunities for youth to religiously educate children in the congregation
  • 23. Pathways for Leadership Development
    • Recruit and train youth and adults to partner in providing a faith development series, such as “Evensong.”
    • Invite and train youth to be part of the congregation’s lay pastoral care team, working closely with the minister.
  • 24. Pathways to Youth Leadership Development
    • Recruit and train youth to serve on congregational boards and committees (not just youth specific committees or the RE committee)
    • Youth on Board, www.youthonboard.org )
  • 25. Pathways to Youth Leadership Development
    • Make sure that your congregational social justice endeavors are multigenerational. Ask youth to be active leaders in these efforts.
    • Consider youth/adult team leaders for “Standing on the Side of Love” projects.
  • 26. Widen Youth Voices and Participation
    • Take time to evaluate in your congregation the possibilities for youth to be full members – what are your guidelines for membership?
    • Coming of Age programs and membership
    • Are all of your committees, task forces, boards, etc…open to youth leadership?
  • 27. Welcoming Youth of Diverse Needs, Abilities and Identities
    • A goal of youth ministry must incorporate the lens of welcoming all youth (The Mosaic Project).
    • Couple this lens with asking youth to help organize your congregation’s involvement in outreach efforts, such as “The Trevor Project,” and or creating an “It Gets Better” Video.
  • 28. The “Developmental” part of youth ministry
    • Key developmental tasks of the middle adolescence stage (ages 15-18)
    • finding a valued place in a constructive group
    • cultivating problem-solving skills
    • acquiring support systems and knowing how to use them
    • finding ways to be useful to others
    • finding ways to feel a sense of basic self-worth
    • (Nurturing Children and Youth: A Development Guidebook)
  • 29. Q & A
  • 30. Next steps:
    • What will you do to reach out to other youth advisors in your area/district/region?
    • Be an advocate for youth in the congregation
    • Set an early goal for youth leadership development – send them to Youth Midwest Leadership School, www.mwls.org
    • Have congregational conversations….on how to truly be a multigenerational community; the meaning of youth empowerment (consider a cluster-of-congregations event for these conversations)
  • 31. Thank You