Churches and families overestimate youth groupgraduates’ readiness for the struggles ahead with direconsequences for the faith.•Only one in seven high school seniors report feelingprepared to face the challenges of college life with fewready for the intensity of the college experience:loneliness, the search for new friends, being completelyon their own for the first time, and the suddenavailability of partying.•One pervasive struggle for college students is finding anew church, as evident by the 40 percent of freshmanwho report difficulty doing so. Young peopleretrospectively report that the first two weeks of theircollege freshman year set the trajectory for theirremaining years in school.
• Intergenerational Insight #1: Involvement in all- church worship during high school is more consistently linked with mature faith in both high school and college than any other form of church participation.• Intergenerational Insight #2: The more students serve and build relationships with younger children, the more likely it is that their faith will stick.
Why Teens Need to Serve• Adds other non-parental adult voices in the lives of students• Provides a connection to the congregation at a multigenerational level• Service is a key indicator of a student sticking with their faith after high school
There is no“Junior” Holy Spirit• The same God who gives adults spiritual gifts also gives students spiritual gifts• Many of the Disciples were teenagers• The church began as a youth group who served. That seemed to work out.
Getting Everyoneon the Bus• Pastor / Senior Leadership• Youth Pastor• Parents
You Need a Plan• Ideal Volunteer Entry Process
Volunteer Entry ProcessI want to volunteer…1.Do you know where?2.1 week shadow3.Given application4.Phone call or email – any questions?5.Assigned as a shadow for two more weeks6.Email or phone call of affirmation – you’re doing great!7.Talk about permanent placement – will they thrive?8.After 3 weeks of shadowing, volunteer can be placed witha signed job description (place w/ partner)9.2 month follow up - email or phone call10.Put 1 year anniversary on calendar
You Need a Plan• Ideal Volunteer Entry Process• Volunteer Role Description• Background Checks / Training• Protect your leaders and your children
Start with Baby Steps• Are there youth already serving?• Are there youth interested in serving?• Are there events on your calendar where you need lots of one-time volunteers
Serving Should NotReplace Worship• You are a part of the congregation• Your adults volunteers are too• Your teens need to feel like they belong
Practical Next Steps• Who do you need to talk to?• Set a “1 Year from Now” Goal• Brainstorm Best Fits for Teens