When I was a student, I had several different role models in life. A youth worker, parents, coach, grandparents, teacher, and principal. The connection that all of these people had in my life besides me is that they were all Christians. But the even better fact is that the youth worker I admired knew and regularly talked to every one of them. In fact, I remember talking to my coach and teacher about his ministry and they had nothing but praise to say about them.
I know that I am a nerdy, introverted, tennis playing guy that relates well with the teenager that stands in the back of the room or the student who loves to play ping pong. What I do not do well is keeping up with middle school girls’ conversations, wrestling techniques, or the latest and greatest men’s and women’s fashion. If I did not have the people in my life that knew and were interested in these things, I could be alienating many students.
Youth for Christ has described Adults Who Empower as “We strategically develop leaders to reach young people from every people group.” In fact, YFC’s official slogan is to reach “every kid, one at a time.” It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to fulfill this mission without adults who are able to come alongside and support this ministry and God’s Kingdom. Let me repeat that Lone Ranger, IMPOSSIBLE.
So who are people that you can you reach and how can they empower teenagers?
The obvious group that works in your ministry and hopefully knows the details of events, they can reinforce club times, reflection of lessons, and living a Biblical life outside of youth group.
Regardless of media, peers, and other factors, parents are still the most influential people in a teenager’s life. Giving parents the tools to have effective dinner conversations, encouraging them to model Biblical lives, and letting them know about the details of youth group can be your biggest impact in these teens lives.
In the heat of battle and in an event that requires deep commitment and effort, coaches can teach the Biblical principles and morals in the locker room as well as on the field. (FCA?)
- School staff
Teens spend more hours at school than they do at home awake. Teachers who know what is happening there can refer students who are hurting to you and you can have an inside ear to school functions.
Beyond training volunteers, how do you empower adults in your community?