youth ministry

Pastor, What Your YP Wants You To Know

Youth ministry can be one of the most rewarding places of ministry in the church. It is led by great men/women of God who pour their heart and soul into walking with teens who are experiencing the growing pains between childhood to adulthood. Despite all the rewarding fulfillment of serving alongside teen ministry, there are a great number of youth leaders who are struggling in their church leadership position. Senior Pastor, here’s what your youth pastor wants you to know:

  1. The youth ministry is not a parachurch. This group of young people is a portion of the church ministry. The vision, the mission, the goals of the youth ministry do not need to be created by the youth pastor/director. You are the man/woman of God appointed to lead the church. Everything flows from you. What is your vision, mission, goals for the youth ministry? Your youth pastor wants to have creative freedom to explore what you have already set in place, not create a whole new ministry. Saying to your YP, “welcome! It’s a clean slate, do whatever you want with the youth, I fully support you” is honestly NOT what they want to hear. No one wants a micromanager, so don’t misinterpret this, however the YP wants to know that they are leading a group of teens in the direction of the larger body. It is their heart that teens will easily flow from kids ministry to youth ministry to adult ministry without turmoil, because everything is under the same leadership direction that was given to you.
  2. The youth leader desires discipleship. Honestly, who doesn’t? Jesus sought the wisdom of His father. Jesus poured into those around Him. It’s the model we should purpose to follow. Your youth pastor wants to sit in a conversation with you and discuss what he/she is reading, time in the word, prayer life, etc. This is not meant to be a “to-do” on the job description. This is an intentional time where you bond together over life and the word. You intentionally pray together and seek wisdom. In this moment you are not the boss, you are a mentor. Just as much as they are a church leader or possibly staff person, they are also your sheep. Are you shepherding them like the rest of the flock? Truth is, they need more shepherding than most, as they are also shepherding those around them.
  3. Shepherding means they get to share their struggles.We are foolish to think that Senior Pastors and Youth Pastors are without struggle. I know we might present that picture, but let’s be real. When a place of trust is created between the senior pastor and youth leader, opportunities will arise for them to be real and admit their struggles.

“Don’t be so quick to judge them because they are in a place of leadership, but be quick to jump in and love them even more because they are in a place of leadership.”

I have walked alongside youth leaders who struggled with sin, depression, anxiety, marriages in turmoil, etc. A great majority of them confessed that they could never seek the leadership of their pastor. They feared job loss, ministry failure, or deep tongue lashing. What they were desperately in need of was the same pastor that wrapped his/her arms around the congregation members who experienced the same struggles. Your youth pastor needs a shepherd who will love, guide, and walk with them in their struggle; not judge and threaten their position.

  1. They want to see your face with the teens too. YES! Randomly show up for a youth night, ice cream party, water wars, something! Don’t show up in your fancy suit and tie either. SHOW UP! Have some fun! Scream loudly and jump around. The teens need to see a man/woman of God who is real, fun, and loving outside of the pulpit. Don’t be stuffy. Let loose.
  2. Do life with them. This goes back to #2, but have some coffee, play basketball, bowl, watch a movie, invite them over for dinner and DON’T TALK ABOUT WORK LIFE. Enjoy each other. Enjoy your differences. Enjoy your similarities. Laugh. Cry. Be present in their life. Here’s permission to even do that during “work hours”. The pay off is ginormous. It develops a deeper relationship among church leadership and it ultimately trickles down to the congregation. People want family; even your leaders.

Do you desire to grow in any or all of these areas? In the beginning things may seem odd, but the more you practice them, the more organic they become. Desire to create a space of mentorship and discipleship with your church staff. Doing so reflects ministry as Christ demonstrated for us.

In Him,

signature

 

Uncategorized

Why You Should Support the Local Teen Talent

Seventeen Days. SEVENTEEN!!!! We are 17 days away from our annual After Exam Jam concert, and we are pumped! I love this time of worship each year. There is so much energy from the students. It energizes me to see their God given talents on display honoring Christ. There is passion. There is love. There is worship. There is heart and soul. What more could you ask for from a concert?

This year will be the 6th year of the After Exam Jam. It is a vision started by local high school English teacher, Jessica Horne. She fiercely leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at Nash Central High School. Over the years, the concert has grown and moved locations. She has also added additional support from school counselor, Heather Thompson, and graciously included the Youth Pastors Coalition. It is an honor to support the After Exam Jam.

So what is this grande event? After Exam Jam includes worship, dance, spoken word, and musical talent from students and young adults in Nash and the surrounding areas. There is a reception after serving pizza and other goodies. Don’t be fooled, it is more than a program and food. There is legit worship and praise to honor the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All student led.

Why is the important and why does this affect you? Good question! I have been serving youth ministry for over a decade. There is one thing that still amps me up…student worship. In the midst of the crazy every changing world, students recognizing something greater than themselves and offering up worship makes my soul leap. Perhaps it is the student pastor in me? Maybe it’s the mother in me? Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit in me that says, “Yes Lord, Yes!”.

I also strongly believe in knowing your gifts and talents and using them for the Kingdom. How are we supposed to serve and grow the Kingdom if we never know what we are purposed for? Moments like After Exam Jam solidify in the hearts of young people who they are in Christ. What they were made for. Who they were made by. The glory of creation is magnified when the Creator is exalted.

I titled this blog, “Why You Should Support the Local Teen Talent”. I am passionate about the local teen talent. I am more passionate about the local teen talent that stands in awe of their Creator and offers praises to Him. You should be passionate about this as well. This is how we disciple and mentor the younger generation. Matthew 28:16-20 reads, “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

You are I are called to make disciples. We must work together to lift one another up, edify each other, support each other. This is why you should support the local teen talent. I can’t think of a greater moment to do so, than together with your bothers and sisters in Christ. United. Offering up praises.

Join us on Saturday, January 27 from 6-9 pm at Red Oak Baptist. We can’t wait to see you there!

-Pam Bailey, Youth Pastors Coalition

img_5611

Uncategorized

Fields of Faith

We can’t wait to worship God on our local football field in a few days! Can you hear our excitement? I mean honestly…how amazing is it that we get to have a student-led service in which Christ is glorified on our local high school football field?

This year, we are honored to be worshipping at Southern Nash High School. The local FCA clubs have worked together the last few years in creating a bond among our local schools. They are currently rotating Fields of Faith each year to maximize people joining together in worship.

We invite you to join us. There is nothing greater than seeing this generation leading all of us!

Wednesday, October 11, 6-8 pm, Southern Nash High School Football Field

Uncategorized

Shake It Up

YPC is a month away from our first event of the year, School Prayer Walks. I believe this will be our fourth year promoting prayer walks. Each year I am reminded why this is so important and vital to our community.

Lately I have been diving into the books of Acts. What a better way to understand the growth and structure of The Church than by reading about the first church! Acts 4 takes us to a great moment of church growth: 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

The place in which they were gathered together was shaken. Imagine being in a place of prayer with other believers and the physical building began to shake. It was similar to experiencing an earthquake. According to the amazing wikipedia, an earthquake is the shaking of the earth’s surface, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Oh church! Does anyone see where I am going?

If only! IF ONLY we could come together in unity, in one accord and seek the presence of our Father. Together we pray against the darkness and the evil that tries to steal our young people. Together we pray for boldness to speak the truth. Together we pray for the hand of God to heal. Together we pray for God to perform signs and wonders. Together we pray. Just like the believers in Acts 4 we boldly come to the throne. In doing so, we create a release of energy that results in seismic waves. But I am not talking about a physical earthquake. I am talking about a spiritual awakening that shakes and disturbs the community we live in. A shaking that is so strong it ripples on and on and on. The size of the movement can’t be contained, for our God is bigger than we can imagine.

Yet, here we are. One month away from the start of another school year. And we simply need believers to come together in unity and in one accord to seek the face of our Father and ask Him to move in a mighty way in our local schools. Will you pray?

**School prayer walks are easy. Pick a school on the selected days. Show up, walk and pray, then go home. You can pray corporately with others or by yourself. We just need prayer warriors!**

prayer walk 2017.jpg