If you don't want your students to equate school culture and youth group culture, then get together in some interesting places. We do a night of vision in a local cafe and once a month we rent an outdoor amphitheater in summer. When students are seen outside the church, it's a big win. An average youth ministry connects with students and provides them with resources to help them be more successful in their schools and communities.
At East End Youth Ministry in Pittsburgh, that's just not enough. This outreach program, which is located in Beulah Presbyterian Church, but is a collaboration of several local congregations, not only checks those boxes, but also does its best to establish links with the families of young people to ensure that their support goes beyond adolescents. The creative presence is an essential part of any culture. It is especially important for our youth ministries.
When we apply the concept of creativity to the cultural considerations of our youth ministries, and specifically to their youth group, it's interesting to think about how what you create unites them. Create a vision, agree on a philosophy, develop a plan, communicate passionately, and do something. This will require an investment, but the return is a generation of teenagers who passionately follow Jesus. Beulah Church has become home to the East End Youth Ministry because it has the space (gym, showers, laundry area) that the other participating churches did not have. One simple activity is to have Bible trivia for kids with quiz questions.
He has served that call as lead pastor and youth worker, and leads the student ministry team at Riverside Church in Big Lake, MN. Alex, who has worked in youth ministry and church for more than 25 years, noticed a decline in attendance and youth pastors in the region in recent years and came up with an idea not only to benefit Beulah but also other congregations in the area. East End Youth Ministry leaders spent a year studying “lament” and educated them on how children are transitioning through life. If there is no spiritual growth, your work to create a vibrant youth ministry will be useless.
East End Youth Ministry provides interns like Nick Skwarko (left) to work in summer camps, giving students a work experience they can use when looking for jobs in the future. Many churches focus only on practical issues and find themselves in a bind later because they have created a ministerial structure that runs counter to their convictions. Often there can be such immediate pressure to get something going, that your youth ministry is mostly shaped around practical issues rather than thinking about how your model of youth ministry could cultivate and grow young people to be more like Jesus.