Up front: I’ve been a subscriber to Group Magazine for a few years now. For the past 2 years, I’ve attended the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I’m also on their Inside Track Team for the conference. I love what they do. All of that said, I wouldn’t be talking about it if I didn’t believe in it.
Overall, I like Group because it is filled with practical information from people actually serving in ministry.
Here are some things from the November/December 2010 issue that will influence our ministry over the next few months:
One In Depth, by Jeff Dunn-Rankin
The article deals with talking so that kids will listen and listening so kids will talk. He talks about “listening with full attention”, “acknowledging their feelings” and “giving feelings a name”. The second one really hit home with me. Often when I talk with kids I find myself giving advice or asking questions. I’ve also found myself saying things like “There’s no reason to get upset”. That’s not honoring the relationship or the person. We need to work on listening.
Going Super Deep With Teenagers, by Rick Lawrence
Rick details the results of the survey that they’ve used with the students that attended Group Workcamps last year. What’s more, he posts a link that we can download the survey results. Each year in our student ministry, we hand out some type of survey. I’m thinking about re-working it a bit and asking all of our small groups (middle school, high school, and adults) to work through it.
It’s Called Work for a Reason, by Mark DeVries
“Not building the right systems beneath a youth ministry virtually guarantees you’ll be blindsided and overwhelmed by the very situations that a well-prepared youth worker will handle with ease.” Based on both this statement and some work for my “Multi-Gen Ministry” course at IWU, I’m taking a deeper look at the systems behind our ministry. There will be some changes coming.
Outwit, Outplay and Outlast Parent Criticism, by Dwayne Stinson
Dwayne begins the article with a story about a retreat gone awry. There was a tremendous amount of issues afterwards which led them to create a behavioral covenant for their group. Our middle school group is a little…boisterous…so something like this may be coming soon. I gave a copy of the article to each of my middle school leaders.