I asked my youth group what they do for a personal Sabbath each week. Here’s what they said:
They may also think Sabbath is sleep!
In our interview with Andrew Root, he talked about how important it is that adults share in their experiences of doubt and reveal deep truths about themselves, while at the same time we need to recognize power dynamics and not over-share. I think that’s one of the toughest lines to find. And so I wanted to explore that a little bit with some thoughts about how we can learn to share without over-sharing.
This month I wanted to address the issue of doing youth ministry when you are just plain tired. I’m not talking about burn-out, which is another thing altogether. I’m just talking about those nights when you are not in the mood.
It doesn’t matter if you are paid or volunteer. It doesn’t matter if you like the kids or not. It doesn’t matter how much planning or creativity you have put into your class or meeting. Sometimes we feel we just don’t have the energy, physically or emotionally, to show up.
Each year, we have a crazy gift exchange where everyone brings a gift that costs $10 or less. You get a gift at random, can steal other people’s gifts – it’s called different things, but we just call it our Advent Crazy Party, and then talk about how we are waiting for Jesus.
This year, one of the gifts was a box of condoms and two shot glasses. So we ended up talking about sex and drugs (I consider alcohol a drug).
We are told to minister to the group as well as the individual. What do you do when the individual breaks down the community? Parents often think church will be the one place their kid can be welcomed because we have to, but the truth is, if we don't know enough about them or how best to deal with them, then we are not going to be able to fully welcome and include them in the community.
"My mom says you expect too much."
"I think this is all stupid. I don't want to do this."
"You don't realize how much my child has to do this week."
"You really can't think your class is that important to us."
"I think this class is hard. My dad says church should be fun. Why are you making it hard?"
"The last youth leader who led the confirmation class didn't make these demands."
And one I got just this week: "I need you to make the changes NOW. I mean, it is church, not an SAT prep class."
Yes, a parent said this!
One of the things that I think all of us hope for when we prepare people for confirmation is that they have a rewarding experience.
Summer is often a time when we get our youth groups together just for fun and fellowship , and that means…games.
Just to tell you where I’m coming from: I’ve been teaching CnC for probably 10 years now. Every year I’ve talked the talk about how youth and parents need to make a commitment to attend CnC classes. Yes, youth are busy; yes, they have soccer and drama and all the rest. But if they want be part of the CnC program, they need to make the commitment to be there.
Download sample youth lesson Download sample adult lesson
Table of Contents Youth Programs Table of Contents Adult Program