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13 learn from resources


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13 learn from resources

  1. 1. L E A RN F ROM RE S OURCE S from Doug Fields FOR STARTERS TRAINING on the GO What’s the last book you read To be an effective volunteer, you’ll need to regularly sharpen your mind, heart, from cover to cover? What and skills. Many great resources exist that’ll help you become a better youth impact did it have on you? ministry leader—as youth ministry becomes a stronger and more academic pursuit, dozens of books and tools are published each year. My suggestion is What resources have helped to try to read at least two books or resources a year: one that’ll help your own make your youth ministry more spiritual growth and one to sharpen your youth ministry skills. effective? Learning and growing in your own faith is an important part of being a youth ministry leader. Reading a book about building your faith may not seem, at first, a youth ministry–related topic. However, if you’re going to IN T HE TRENCHE S lead teenagers closer to God, you need to be growing spiritually yourself. Teaching students out of your own growth is the most powerful way to helpAndy is one of my long-term vol- them develop.unteers who constantly puts me Finding resources that will help with your youth ministry skills is often oneto shame with his intense desire of personal choice or recommendation. I know I’ve enjoyed books that otherto learn. He’s always commentingon a new youth ministry resource, youth workers didn’t like, and vice versa. Ask a few other youth leaders toa new Web site he’s visited, or a suggest the “one” book that every youth worker should read—and then tracknew magazine he’s found. I often it down.tell him, “I’m the youth pastor andI should be telling you about these I get almost all of my youth ministry books and resources online becausethings.” He smiles and appeases I can easily find them, read excerpts and samples of the ideas, and viewme by replying that I’m the lead other people’s opinions before making the purchase. Two sources foryouth worker but he’s really the good youth ministry resources are andleader because he’s so committed learning. Leaders are committedlearners—and Andy sets the pace. If your youth ministry or church does not already have one, help begin andWith so much knowledge and build a youth ministry library. When you find a book or resource that’s helpfulaccess to resources, Andy is also to you, donate it to the library for others to read after you’ve finished with it.very helpful to other volunteers This will give all your leaders the opportunity to become well rounded, bothbecause he directs them to the personally and in their ministry to youth.right resources. (I just wish he’d talkabout my books.) How are you like Of course, books are not the only helpful youth ministry resource available toor unlike Andy? you. The list is endless—whether the need is spiritual growth, foundational practices of youth ministry, or great ideas and activities for Bible studies, worship events, and service projects. You can find multimedia kits, complete programs, game books, CDs and DVDs, youth ministry and family-dedicated Web sites, and Internet podcasts focused on youth ministry issues. One of the biggest myths about youth ministry is that every idea has to be original and created specifically for your ministry. Buying into this myth has wasted countless hours. The best use of your creativity is learning from resources created by others who have already been where you want to take your ministry. Using the best youth ministry tools will relieve the pressure of unrealistic expectations and, most importantly, free up your time to do relational ministry with your students.YOUTH LEADER TRAINING ON THE GO
  2. 2. L E A RN F ROM RE S OURC E S CONNECT to God’s Word T O T HE POINT • Expand your mind; find “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have resources that’ll sharpen your taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting ministry. what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize • Grow your youth ministry for which God has called me heavenward in Christ knowledge. Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13-14 • Don’t reinvent the wheel; take advantage of the ideas that are already available. • This verse is often understood in terms of forgetting the bad that has happened and pressing on toward the mysterious and miraculous that God can bring (specifically, eternal life TRY I T because of Jesus’ resurrection). What if, however, Connect with three or four youth you read it through the lens of a ministry that is workers. They can be from your going well and a youth leader who is healthy? own youth ministry setting or from another church or youth ministry What does it mean for you then? organization. Invite these youth • How can you press on toward excellence and workers to a resource-sharing meeting. Have them each bring pursue a ministry full of continual learning? several of their favorite youth ministry resources. If the resources are free to photocopy, have each Write a response and prayer to God here… person bring enough copies for all attendees. Take time to talk about the different resources and why they are valuable. Hopefully, you’ll leave the meeting with great ideas, more learning, and a few new resources. If it’s helpful, reschedule for six months later and stay on the lookout for new resources to swap. MA K E IT PER SONAL Permission to photocopy this handout granted for local church use. Copyright © Doug Fields. Published in Youth Leader Training on the Go by Group Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 481, Loveland, CO 80539. and