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In my 20+ years of youth ministry, I’ve seen shifts in programming that are often tied to shifts in the wider culture.
To stay ahead of the wave, we try to be proactive about rethinking the way we do ministry. When we’re ready to roll out new ideas, we veer away from “launching programs” and, instead, tell our ministry leaders and teenagers that we’re “experimenting” with a new approach.
Well, experiments aren’t permanent—they give us permission to take risks and try new things. Who knows, you may try something that turns out amazing and you’ve already done the hard work of “launching that program.” If it flops, it was just an experiment and you never have to do it again.
Experiment - Teenagers - Level - Discipleship - Time
In our latest experiment, we’re re-strategizing how to take teenagers to a deeper level of discipleship when their time is so limited. Most of our kids have calendars that look like they belong to a vice president of a major corporation. They cram sports, band, church, homework, play practice, jobs, and more into the same 24 hours they’ve always had. Opportunities assault them more than ever before—this is our new reality.
So we looked at our ministry and asked, “What can we do to get more time with our teenagers, and how can we give more of our time?”
Trend - Leadership - Development—online - Cohorts - Distance
I thought about the online trend in leadership development—online cohorts and distance learning led by seasoned leaders at a premium price. You get one–on–one time with a respected leader who’s experienced success in an area where you want to grow. I thought: “Let’s try that with our teenagers.”
What can we do to get more time with our teenagers, and how can we give more of our time?
Addition - Weekend - Programs - Group
So, in addition to our weekend and midweek programs, we created an online small group. No...
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