“Rethinking Youth Ministry from the Ground Up” Notes

This was an Orange Conference Breakout Session lead by Tom Shefchunas (@coachshef).

Revolutions rarely get started by new info…it starts with thinking differently about what we already know.

  • Think simpler
  • Think backwards – is there another approach to the problem?
  • Think upside down
  • Think beyond – have I set my goal too low? MLK Jr.
  • Think Irreverently – how has the system limited my perspective? Martin Luther
  • Think Again – Bazos

If we could build again, knowing what we now know and purposefully unknowing what we’ve always done, how would we build it now?

We’ve learned a lot over the last 50 years of youth ministry

When you rebuild something:

  • Decide on the main goal
  • Define the imperatives
  • You realistically rebuild it considering time, resources

What is the main goal of the Christian organization? It’s Matthew 28:19-20. Go and as you are going, disciple by baptizing. As you are going teach the, by word and by action.

Discipleship is:

  • Difficult
  • Relational
  • Ongoing
  • Dependent on disciplier
  • Limited by disciplier

What are the imperatives for a Christian Organization?

The What

  • love God with all you’ve got and love others Matt 22:37-39

The Who

  • Jesus himself – through his body – the church

What does it mean to be a Christian leader? We are humble but we are confident and a leader. If people aren’t mad at you, you are not leading.

There is a fine line and balance

  • between leading people in a movement or manipulating people to move
  • humbly accepting people’s dedication to your leadership or expecting locality because you are the leader

A helpful filter

  • what MUST we do
  • what SHOULD we do
  • what COULD we do
  • what SHOULDN’T we do

Could is often a really good do and often kills organizations

Where to start?

If I could only do 1 thing for my students to help them build authentic faith, what would it be?

  • Toms Group said they would 1. have amazing adults to help kids and walk with them be discipled.
  • 2. make sure the adults are healthy.
  • 3rd one is program. The purpose of program is to set up leaders for success. They wanted to create shared experiences built around biblical truth.
  • 4th thing is parents. 20% of parents will do everything you say. 20% won’t do anything. Focus on 60% of parents who can take steps with their kids.

Stay away from the “could do”s

Think differently.

What Breakouts did you attend today? Share below something that you learned from that session below or on social media using #YMSidekick and #OC18 as hashtags. 

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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