The 2016 DVULI Think Tank responds to the following:
What obstacles prevent urban youth ministry leaders from working as one body, and what can they do to overcome those obstacles moving forward?
One that sticks out to me is the area of who gets the credit? Whose idea was it? Who did most of the work? To overcome this, we must celebrate what each other brings no matter the size or cost. In the end it’s all about the young people and their lives being changed.
One obstacle could be only focusing inwardly – on those we already serve. This can be overcome by looking out towards other ministries in the extended community. When we humbly look out we will "see" other ministries that were always there. This may not result in numerical growth, but it will be a win for the Kingdom!
The obstacle: prioritizing connecting with other leaders, even if it’s just one within the neighborhood/area. The solution: intentionally meet with at least with one other individual on a continued basis to be able to work together.
I have often struggled to align forces with other urban youth ministries because of varying work ethics. With two different approaches to planning and implementing a program, I have learned along the way to ask questions such as: "Do we have a deadline to complete this task?” This way we discuss our differences in project planning and the many variables essential to putting on a successful event.
One of the primary obstacles that prevents youth leaders from working as one body is that their home churches rarely work in unity with other churches in their community; it’s a learned attribute that breeds low, to no, empowerment. My solution is to aggressively employ Romans 12:10 which says “be devoted to one another in love...” and enter into “covenant agreements” with specific timelines for their partnership and specific, yet narrow, goals.
One obstacle is networking to build relationships with one another. I recommend they visit the leader and go out for coffee and talk. Many youth leaders are looking for ideas in running their groups and problem solving youth issues. When relationships are established between each leader it is amazing how each one can be a source of encouragement and spiritual strength.
Photo courtesy of Gal on Flickr.