Top 10 Phrases to Use in Youth Ministry
Student ministry is a special place. Not like Church Lady special, but really special—an opportunity for God to use you to change lives for eternity. But we all need some help, so be sure you’re well versed in how to respond to ministry situations by packing these phrases away in your toolbox.
1. Let’s try it. Be risk taker and encourage others to do the same. It’s not wise to change everything overnight, but create a culture that says it’s okay to try something and fail. And if you learn from your mistakes, it’s not really failure.
2. You can do it. Our job is to equip students (and other youth workers) to do the work of ministry, so always look for ways to pass the leadership baton to someone.
3. Thank you but… True, you will likely hear more complaints from church members and families but…you will on occasion get a compliment. Receive the compliment joyfully, but be quick to share the glory with your team. Student ministry is a team sport, so if God is doing something good, be sure to identify other leaders who deserve some credit.
4. Thank you for sharing that with me. Conversely, when things don’t go so well…take the heat, even when it’s easy to point the finger somewhere else. But be a respectful listener when others complain. You don’t have to take abuse but don’t be defensive. Repeat back what the parent/church member/police officer said so they know you were listening.
5. I’ll follow up with his/her parents. Stuff happens. And when it does, take the lead to address it quickly and confidently. It’s always good to have another leader with you for moral and prayer support—plus, you can model what it looks like to address conflict.
6. You are awesome. Seriously, when is the last time you were reminded that you’re awesome? It doesn’t happen enough in our lives, so make sure it happens regularly in the lives of your students and leaders—and parents! And just a minor note, but saying “You are awesome” (opposed to the abbreviated ‘you’re awesome’) carries more weight. Saying the ‘are’ requires an emphasis on the ‘you’ which brings more ‘POW’! [Say it out loud; you’ll see what I mean.]
7. God has plans for your life. Youth workers are visionaries. Not everyone can foresee trends in culture or be a strategic leader, but all of us can remind students they have value and that following God is worth the risk. Get used to encouraging students to trust God, and then cheer them on!
8. What is God teaching you lately? Students actually expect us to have spiritual conversations with them, so let’s not disappoint. And for students who may hem and haw at a question like that, be ready to identify what you see God doing in their lives.
9. No, blue flaming is not a spiritual gift. I may be treading a little theological water here, but I think I’m safe to say that God while did indeed invent laughter, it’s wise to insist students keep matches away from their rear-ends. At least that’s what a lawyer told me.
10. Let’s pray. Stop telling students you’ll pray for them and seize the day and do it now. No seriously, do it now.
This article “Top 10 Phrases to Use in Youth Ministry” by Gregg Fara was excerpted from: www.youthministry.com web site. July 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”