Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Training All Next Gen Leaders Together?


Student Ministry and Children's Ministry actually working together?  That's kind of like the lion and the lamb hanging together.

Not just student ministry and children's ministry, this Saturday all of the leaders from children's, student, college and young adult's ministries are joining together for a day of training.

Of course there is a huge difference between a volunteer who rocks a baby and a volunteer who leads a small group of emerging adults.  Of course we'll have appropriate training for specific age groups but we're super excited to have all our next gen leaders in the same room.

Here are 3 reasons we're so excited...

1)  We want each leader to know that they're a part of a BIGGER story.

When your a 4th grade boy's small group leader it's hard to believe you're having any spiritual influence at all.  We want every volunteer, no matter their role, to understand that their faithful ministry has an echoing effect in the lives of the next generation.  

Here's a story we're telling.  Years ago Peter was a 4th grade boys Sunday school teacher.  He had a kid in that SS class who later became a middle school intern.  In that middle school youth group there was MS school (now a college student) who is a middle school life group leader.  In that middle school life group is a student who helps serve in our children's ministry.

See the ripple effect?  Peter isn't perfect but he has spent years serving kids.  The result?  An incredible echo effect that goes way beyond what he would have ever imagined.  He didn't know it but he was a part of a story that was bigger than he thought.

2)  We want to create a common language.

Our next gen ministry is built upon the strength of life on life small groups.  All small group leaders will be in the room to hear us talk about the priority and theology of relational ministry.  We've uncovered 4 key principles that apply to all our age groups.

Of course we're going to let each age group apply these principles appropriately, but how cool to know that each group leader (k-young adults) will have a common understanding and and language for life on life ministry and why that's our approach.  As students get older our hope is that there will be greater consistency in how our small groups operate.

In addition to our approach to small groups we also have guiding principles for all next gen ministries.  Creating alignment through all our ministries results in encouragement for parents and assuring our core principles are being implemented.

By the way, having our young adult ministry engaged with the rest of our next gen ministry is golden.  It's almost like stepping into a time machine to see how the future will look.  Interacting with our young adult pastor informs our children ministry, student ministry and college ministry about true spiritual formation.

3)  Having everyone in the room at once will create excitement

We believe a large part of our church's calling is to "declare God's greatness to the next generation, his might to all who are to come".  From birth to launching people into young adulthood, we're super excited to share God's heart and priority for kids and young adults.

We're also looking forward to sharing with all our volunteers the priority of the their heart.  The effectiveness of ministry this school year is somehow connected with each leader's connecting to Jesus.  He is the focus but he's also the fuel.

So, I'm kind of excited to see what God does in us and through us this Saturday.  If you're involved in student ministry, children's ministry or even young adult ministry consider finding ways to connect with one another.  There's no doubt the collaboration at my home church is helping us serve kids, families and young adults more effectively.

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