Becoming Awesome with Young People (2)

“Stop talking about the problem, be the solution”
 

You might want to tweet that!

If you are reading this blog post, I strongly recommend you catch up on the first part of this series: How To Be Awesome in Youth Ministry.

Background

Two weeks ago, I shared 5 key points for being awesome in youth ministry.

This series was inspired by a question I asked a solution group of 100+ adults during a leadership conference in May. I was inspired by personal soul-searching, wanting to understand why young people are leaving the church and why the church appears to be failing to effectively influence them.

Recap

Here’s a quick recap on the first 5 key points I believe are necessary to win young people:

  • Preach Christ!
  • Adapt!
  • Package Well!
  • Remove Impediments!
  • Talk is Cheap. ACT!

What Else Can We Do?

Of course, I am not advocating any 10-point proposal will solve all your youth ministry challenges in two weeks. But with lots of persistence, commitment and faithfulness on your part, you will see results over time. So how else can we  be awesome in influencing young people?

  • Mentor! I cannot overemphasise the importance of youth impact coaching and mentoring. Too many church ‘folks’ complain about young people but only a few invest time and knowledge into them. Stop talking about the problem, be the solution. Be proactive. Be genuinely involved in young people’s lives – education, spiritual development, positive social exposure. Be a great influence on them.
  • Support Ongoing Initiatives! If your local church runs a youth programme, get involved. OK, if you cannot roll up your sleeves, dig into your pocket. Support ongoing youth initiatives. And propose new ones too!
  • Be Transparent! Answer their questions, especially the difficult ones, even if they make you vulnerable. And when you don’t have the answer, don’t pretend. Be transparent about your life, including your mistakes. Young people need role models, not Hollywood celebrities.
  • Share Responsibilities! Target promising youngsters and give them responsibilities. Don’t wait until they are perfect; you’re still not close after 42 years! Give them opportunities to shine and when they do, celebrate them. This will inspire confidence and increased commitment. And they will grow a deeper affection for God in the process. That was me!
  • PRAY! PRAY!! PRAY!!! And when you have finished praying, pray some more. Be patient. Long suffering truly means suffering long. Not much will change overnight. If you persist long enough, you will see results eventually.

Influencing young people is a lifelong calling; you must dig in, you must persist and you must adapt. Then being awesome will come as a result.

Question: How have you been or are you being awesome with young people where you are? Leave a comment.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Totally agree with you on everything, especially sharing responsibility. It’s good to manage our own expectations because ‘a young person is a young person is a young person’. Basically, you won’t get 30 year old behavior out of an 18 year old. But trust them anyway, don’t wait till they are ‘mature enough’. Because then, they’ll no longer be young! Am always reminded of David, how he got anointed to be king at about 16.

    • Ngina, you are absolutely spot on. You know, that’s something I hadn’t really thought of the way you put it: by the time we expect ‘maturity’, they’d no longer be young.
      Thanks for being awesome!

  • Wow. Joseph, you nailed this one. Great post.

    • Kurt, thanks for the encouragement.

  • Ogbebor Christopher

    Please I reside in Nigeria, Port-Harcourt to be specific. I want to purchase your books.. Where can I get them? Thank you!

  • Ogbebor Christopher

    Actually, I don’t have a credit card. So can’t shop online. Can I get them in bookshops? Thanks