Youth - Leaders
I’m sure you don’t hear the words “Thank you” quite enough. In fact, I’ve never heard a student ministry volunteer beg, “Stop encouraging me. Seriously, please stop! I’ve had it up to here with your encouragement and I can’t take it anymore!” Ministry to teenagers is often a discouraging and difficult calling. I can imagine that right now you might be feeling a little tired and wondering if your time in student ministry is making any difference at all.
I know you’re not in this for the thanks, because if you were, you’d probably be gone by now. But there’s something that lives within every one of us that wants to be recognized and appreciated. You may experience times when you’re not thankful to be working with teenagers, but the people in your life sure are thankful that you do. Please know that your students are, their families are, your church is, and your community is, even when they don’t say it. And I am too. So please let me say to you now, “Thank you so much for who you are and for what you do. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be serving with you.”
Goals of a Shift Leader
- To be a representative of the gospel (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
- To share in the goal of making disciples by developing purposeful Christ-centered relation-ships with students.
- To provide opportunity for students to experience spiritual growth and Christ-like behavior that can be replicated in students’ lives.
- To express God’s love and desire for each student.
1 Thess. 2:8 Vision
“So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
It is our desire that each Shift Student Ministry Leader have this attitude…that not only do they share the gospel, but also their own lives with teens. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 is a great reminder that we are to be pouring ourselves as Christian leaders into the lives of others. It also reminds us that genuine discipleship means genuine relationships!
The Internet has become a great resource for investigating anything and everything related to youth culture. Since the Internet is an important part of the lives of teens, parents need to be aware of what’s out there on the Web. In addition, the Internet provides many great informational resources on a variety of topics for those who are raising teenagers.
Please note: Inclusion of a website in our links section does not necessarily imply Shift’s endorsement of the site’s content.
Some have been chosen because we’ve found them to contain useful insight and/or analysis into today’s youth culture. Several of these sites are not Christian websites and therefore the material contained on them may be offensive to some. Shift is not responsible for any of the content found on these links.
1. Center for Parent/Youth Understanding
A Christ-centered organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence. The site for incredibly helpful “Links!”
2. Relevant Magazine
Relevantmagazine.com is a publication covering God, life and progressive culture. This hourly-updated website is the forerunner to the print version of Relevant magazine. Both versions discuss faith, career, relationships, music and film. Relevant is a good source for new and bold discussion of culture and faith.
3. The National Network of Youth Ministries
The National Network of Youth Ministries links youth workers for encouragement, spiritual growth and sharing resources in order to expose every teenager to the gospel of Jesus Christ, establish them in a local church, and disciple them to help reach the world.
4. Youth Leadership Center for Youth and Family Ministries
Another valuable site for youth ministry training resources from Tiger McCluen and the staff of Youth Leadership. A gateway to an organization that’s been offering quality insight, resources, and training for many years.
5. Youth Specialties
A must-visit site for anyone working with teenagers. Constantly updated, the site offers lots of information about Youth Specialties, their conferences, and youth ministry resources. In addition, you’ll find a list of youth ministry job openings, discussion areas, and a helpful and growing list of links to other youth-related sites on the Web.
6. Group Publishing
A leader in providing resources for ministry to children, youth and adults, this helpful site is loaded with information on books, magazines, curriculum, training events, and more. While you’re here, check out “Ministry.Net” and its searchable library of articles from Group’s arsenal of periodicals.
7. Youthwork Magazine
The website of Youthwork Magazine, Britain’s most widely read resource for Christian youth ministry. Filled with fresh ideas and resources for youth ministry. Youth workers can access the site to read articles, discuss youth ministry issues, discover ideas, and find helpful youth ministry links.
The online home of the National Network of Youth Ministries. Visitors can find out about training events and programs, read articles by youth ministry experts, purchase resources, locate a youth worker network in their local area, etc.
9. Barna Research Online
The Barna Organization has been providing cutting edge research on cultural trends, generations, and issues affecting the church for years. Now you can tap into a wealth of helpful Barna information and analysis through this website. You’ll find ministry resources, information on seminars, in-depth analysis, and a section on data and trends.