Best practices in youth ministry


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A MidAmerica Region of the UUA webinar powerpoint on "Best Practices in UU Youth Ministry"

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Best practices in youth ministry

  1. 1. The Workshop Will Begin in a Moment The Workshop Will Begin in a Moment
  2. 2. Midsize Mania Best Practices in Youth Ministry
  3. 3. Introductions
  4. 4. This Conference Is Being Recorded
  5. 5. Best Practices in Youth Ministry <ul><li>Facilitator: </li></ul><ul><li>Nancy Combs-Morgan , MidAmerica Coordinator of Emerging Models of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and Faith Development Director, Heartland District [email_address] , (859)494-242 4 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Best Practices in UU Youth Ministry <ul><li>Why do we focus on new models of youth ministry? </li></ul><ul><li>A clear goal of faith development? </li></ul><ul><li>The role of Social Justice in youth ministry </li></ul><ul><li>The role of worship in youth ministry </li></ul><ul><li>What informs our next steps? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Framing our Vision for Youth Ministry Tapestry of Faith http:/// <ul><li>All people are lovable beings of infinite worth, imbued with powers of the soul. We are obligated to use our gifts, talents, and potentials in the service of life. </li></ul><ul><li>We carry on our Unitarian Universalist religious heritage and are part of a community of faith that has value and provides resources for living. </li></ul><ul><li>We honor our responsibility for the care and creative transformation of our religious heritage and community of faith. </li></ul><ul><li>We are moral agents who can make a difference in the lives of other people: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>challenging structures of social and political oppression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>promoting the health and well-being of the planet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acting in the service of diversity, justice and compassion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We recognize the need for community and affirm the importance of families, relationships and connections between and among the generations. </li></ul><ul><li>We appreciate the value of spiritual practice as a means of deepening faith and integrating beliefs and values with everyday life. </li></ul><ul><li>Joy and Sadness are all part of our lives: hope, mystery, joy, healing, and personal transformation come together with life's challenges. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Goals for UU Youth Ministry <ul><li>Ethical development </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual development </li></ul><ul><li>Unitarian Universalist identity </li></ul><ul><li>Faith development </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Do We Know about what youth are seeking… <ul><li>To be a part of a youth ministry experience, which is: </li></ul><ul><li>- congregationally based </li></ul><ul><li>-spirit and faith centered </li></ul><ul><li>-counter oppressive </li></ul><ul><li>-inclusive and multicultural, and </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded in a multigenerational faith community </li></ul><ul><li>(Youth Ministry Working Group, ) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Where we have been…. <ul><li>For over 20 years the key components of UU youth ministry were the “Steps to Building Community” – bonding, opening up, affirming, stretching, deeper sharing and goal setting . They remain important, but there should be more… </li></ul><ul><li>UU Youth Ministry Framework: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning, Worship, Social Action, Leadership Development, Community Building With a Multigenerational and Multicultural Lens </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more about where we have been : “ We Would be One:A History of Unitarian Universalist Youth Movements ,” Wayne Arnason & Rebecca Scott. Boston:Skinner House Books. 2005 </li></ul>
  11. 11. A Pledge of “Where we are going….” <ul><li>  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. </li></ul><ul><li>  The “best practice” for this pledge is to make sure that the youth group experience is not isolated or separate from the overall congregational experience – think of ways to connect in multigenerational ways </li></ul>
  12. 12. UU Youth are thirsting for WORSHIP…. <ul><li>Worship that is interactive ; with music that resonates with their life; with rituals that can be incorporated into their spiritual practices, and which challenges them theologically and ethically </li></ul><ul><li>Broaden the concept of “ where ” worship happens… </li></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities for youth to engage in spiritual reflection through small group ministries and/or other programs, which allow them to create worshipful experiences. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  13. 13. Creative Arts in UU Youth Ministry <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Consider expanding the concept of youth groups to “ creative collectives ,” where rotating youth are invited to bring their best creative selves, to share music, videos, visual arts, etc…. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the concept of “creative collectives” to have a collective movement experience, recruit a d.j., open the experience to be multigenerational and have them be mindful of people with different abilities </li></ul>
  14. 14. Pastoral Care in UU Youth Ministry <ul><li>A consistent and significant quality of UU youth is their deep caring….they open their hearts to one another and they need guidance and training in how to be a “ caring community” </li></ul><ul><li>Invite and train youth to be part of the congregation’s lay pastoral care team, working closely with the minister </li></ul><ul><li>Review the role of covenant in caring communities </li></ul><ul><li>Link anti-bullying efforts to pastoral care…couple this with asking youth to help organize your congregation’s involvement in such outreach efforts, such as creating a “It Gets Better” video, , have youth and adults take the “It Gets Better” pledge. Or take part in “The Trevor Project”, </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Role of Governance in UU Youth Ministry <ul><li>Recruit and train youth to serve on congregational boards and committees(not just youth specific committees or the RE committee) </li></ul><ul><li>(Youth on Board, ) </li></ul><ul><li>Have sessions on processes of decision making; process observation, and group consensus building. Include discussions on how the youth group makes decisions early in the year; include in covenant. </li></ul>
  16. 16. UU Youth are Socially Committed <ul><li>Make sure that your congregational social justice endeavors are multigenerational. Ask youth to be active leaders in these efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>“ When Youth Lead ” by Jill Schwendemen </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Consider youth/adult team leaders for “ Standing on the Side of Love ” efforts. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Widen Youth Voices and Participation <ul><li>Take time to evaluate in your congregation the possibilities for youth to be full members – what are your guidelines for membership. Have youth members help to lead new members sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Coming of Age programs and membership, “The Coming of Age Handbook,” Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Are all of your committees, task forces, boards, etc…open to youth leadership? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Welcoming Youth of Diverse Backgrounds, Needs, Abilities, Identities, and Faiths <ul><li>A goal of UU youth ministry must be to incorporate the lens of welcoming all youth (The Mosaic Project), </li></ul><ul><li>Seek Inter-faith experiences for your youth, </li></ul><ul><li>“ A Chorus of Faiths ” Inter-faith curricula for teens, </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 19. Remember to be mindful of the developmental tasks of youth <ul><li>Key developmental tasks of the middle adolescence stage (ages 15-18) </li></ul><ul><li>1) finding a valued place in a constructive group </li></ul><ul><li>2) cultivating problem-solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>3) acquiring support systems and knowing how to use them </li></ul><ul><li>4) finding ways to be useful to others </li></ul><ul><li>5) finding ways to feel a sense of basic self-worth </li></ul><ul><li>( Nurturing Children and Youth:A Development Guidebook ) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Next steps: <ul><li>Evaluate how your congregation is currently doing with youth ministry; TRY A NEW MODEL. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite discussion on the findings of the UUA’s Youth Ministry Working Group </li></ul><ul><li>Have a clear goal to sponsor youth in their leadership development – send them to Youth Midwest Leadership School , </li></ul><ul><li>Have youth/adult congregational conversations on how to truly be a multigenerational community </li></ul>
  21. 21. Best Practices in Youth Ministry Webinar <ul><li>THANKS so much for taking part. Feel free to share and reproduce this presentation – it is for your use </li></ul><ul><li>PLEASE take time to fill out our MidAmerica MidSize Mania webinar evaluation: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>STAY IN TOUCH and let us know what future topics would be of interest to you and your congregation! </li></ul>