I’ve written about the youth ministry network that I’m involved with here in Western side of South Dakota a couple of different times. As a result, I get asked from time to time, “What’s happening?” I’ll share what we’ve been up to lately… see if it sparks any ideas for your local network.
* Every month we continue to meet for coffee and breakfast on the first Wednesday every month. I value these times of catching up and hearing stories about what other youth leaders are doing, not only in their ministries but in their everyday lives. These guys are more than business peers. We have become friends with the common interest and goal of reaching out to students in our region. These relationships help me grow, encourage me, and offer so much insight into the often challenging world of student ministry.
* Last month, one of our female youth leaders, shared some of her wisdom on interacting with senior pastors. Regretfully, I was out of town for this discussion (at a district meeting), but I’ve heard nothing but good reports from those who were there. I’m so thankful for the ladies who bring so much to the table in our network. Us guys can be really clueless sometimes. 😉
The month before that, we read “Sacred Space” together and talked about all the different ways that we can create “multisensory worship experiences” in student ministry. The guy who led this discussion in a youth pastor in a small community that is about an hour away! He’s faithful to come almost every month. His name is Clay; follow him on Twitter here.
What’s next? We picked the book “Shift”, by Brian Haynes, as a discussion starter on the topic of involving parents in the process of the spiritual development of their children. I get to lead that discussion. (Pray for me!)
* We’ve had a few guests visit and share with us about parachurch opportunities in our region. In the last few months, we’ve had suicide prevention/information representative share and also, a guy from the local F.C.A. came in to get us pumped up about a new venture at Rapid City’s Central High School campus. It’s always great to see them wanting to get local pastors involved in what they’re doing.
* Of course, in September, a bunch of us rallied together to help make this year’s See You at the Pole event meaningful for area students. We tried to make sure that as many schools as possible were blanketed with adult support and we planned a big, community-wide rally that evening to help launch students into the new school year. Several students made decisions for Christ that night!
Clay, our resident band-booking guru, also hosted a great concert in Belle Fourche that was opened up to those in our region.
I’m praying for you and your local network of youth leaders today. I pray that you find hope, restoration, encouragement, resources and more in the community and relationships that can be found and nurtured there.