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26 Mar 2024

Exciting New Updates to This Year’s National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training

By |2024-03-26T00:10:31-07:00March 26th, 2024|Leadership, Training, Volunteers|1 Comment

This video-driven, fun, and momentum-building event, with practical youth ministry training for your volunteers, is back for it’s 6th year! And we’ve made some exciting updates to ensure it’s tailored perfectly for you and your team.

  1. NEW: You get to CHOOSE the training date!
    We’ll deliver the training to you on August 1st, 2024!
  2. NEW: Customize the training how you want the day to go.
    The training will be hosted on Coleader, which means you can customize it however you’d like! Lots of flexibility… you can choose to make it shorter or longer.
  3. NEW: Gold/Gold+ Members get 35% off!
    Only $161 to own exclusively for your church or $259 to host (before April 1)! Learn more about Gold and Gold+.
  4. NEW: Gift it to your community or CHARGE for admission!
    Those who host can charge whatever they want. You’re in control of the pricing. Use it as a fundraiser or invite people to come for FREE.
  5. NEW: Platinum Members get the training included in their membership! Learn more about Platinum.
  6. NEW: Training topics & NEW speakers just announced!

Doug Fields
Author, Speaker and co-founder of Download Youth Ministry

Kristen Lascola
Junior High Pastor, North Coast Church and creator/host of “The Ministry Coach” podcast

Josh Griffin
Junior High Pastor at Mariners Church, Speaker and co-founder of Download Youth Ministry

Oza Jones
Director of African American Ministries for The Texas Baptists Convention

Zach Luben
Director of Chapel, Seaver College, Pepperdine University

Brock Morgan
Associate Pastor of The Bridge Chino, Speaker and Author of 20 books including The Anxious Teen

Jessica Sanchez
Youth Worker, Spiritual Director and part of the Download Youth Ministry team

Sean McDowell
Author, Speaker and Biola University Christian Apologetics Professor

 

2024 TRAINING TOPICS

Why your Youth Pastor NEEDS your Teamwork

5 Secrets of a Veteran Volunteer

Effective Up-close Discipleship

The Power of Asking Questions

Navigating Youth Group Drama

Faith Formation to the iPhone Generation

When Interruptions Become Ministry Opportunities

The Anxious Teen: Ministry That Builds Resilience and Connection to God

 

Prices increase on April 1st, sign up now to save $50!

Have questions?

Reach out to our team [email protected] – we’d love to connect with you!

16 Feb 2024

Training Your Volunteers Has Never Been This Easy!

By |2024-02-16T09:49:35-08:00February 16th, 2024|Training, Volunteers|0 Comments

The amazing event continues this year with DYM’s 6th Annual National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training. A customizable, video-driven, fun, and momentum building event, with practical youth ministry training from Doug Fields, Josh Griffin and other youth ministry veterans and thought-leaders!

After 5 incredible years, we’ve decided to change things up to make this training work even better for you and your community! The “National DAY of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training” to “DAYS”.

Basically, you play it on a single day of your choice this Fall all at once, divide it up into 2-3 lunch gatherings, whatever is best for your people. This youth ministry training day “in a box” can be adapted to suit your specific needs and passions. Be as creative as you want to be or just press play!

You set the date(s) and invite youth ministry volunteers, we provide the complete training… it’s that easy!

Learn More!

Train your team exclusively OR host your team and other churches. You choose!

SINGLE CHURCH USE
HOST THE EVENT

Register now, prices go up soon!

5 Feb 2024

How Do I Recruit Volunteers?

By |2024-02-05T08:34:06-08:00February 5th, 2024|Leadership, Volunteers|2 Comments

We can’t do this ministry by ourselves! While it might be possible to take a group of students on a trip in the church van alone, there’s always a high likelihood that you misplaced a receipt, got lost on the way, or somehow lost a kid!

And I know I’m not the only one who really wishes there were someone else in the audience to help keep students focused and on task when I’m teaching a message or leading a game. For crowd control and to prevent receiving as many angry parent emails, volunteers are an integral part of any Youth Ministry! So how do you get them? Speaking from the Sunday morning pulpit might not be your best bet. Instead, try these four tips:

  1. Ask parents to help make student ministry better: Some youth pastors don’t like asking parents to serve in ministry. Maybe it’s because they feel like students can’t be themselves if mom or dad is hanging around. Sometimes it’s because a Youth Pastor might feel intimidated by parents. Odds are, they’re older than you, and it might feel weird having volunteers around who are twice your age or could legitimately be your parent.The real reality is that they are invested in Youth Ministry going well! These are their kids we’re talking about! Parents can make the best volunteers because they have an inside track on what’s going on in their students’ lives, and they want the ministry to thrive.
  2. Ask students who want to help lead the youth group: You might be surprised about how perceptive students are. Or maybe you know that students can tell who they would like to be around. If you were to ask a couple of students in your youth group who they would like to see volunteering in the student ministry, odds are that they have some names from your church.They may not be the people you would’ve chosen first, but if you ask them to serve because students mentioned them by name, you might find yourself a really helpful ally in your ministry journey!
  3. See who naturally hangs around: When you have a youth group, is there somebody who is hanging out with the kids throwing a football in the parking lot? Is there someone who pops in just to help set up chairs or ask if you need any more snacks? Are there people who ask to be involved in Youth Ministry? This might seem like an easy win, but the reality is people might not volunteer if they’re not asked.When you see people at church naturally gravitating towards students, they might be worth getting to know a little bit better, and seeing if they would be a good fit for serving in the student ministry! Make sure to watch out for older church members as well who take time out of their day to stop and talk to students. Don’t ever discount a volunteer because they might be too old! If they love Jesus and like kids, they might be a great volunteer!
  4. Ask those already serving: Does your church have people who already like to help, maybe they cook in the kitchen or hand out coffee or open doors before service. People who like to serve usually are looking for more ways to serve! There might be some church members who do too much and need to take a break, but don’t discount people or try to be the Holy Spirit for them. Ask if they would be willing to serve in student ministry and let them pray about it!

Have I missed any ways that you’ve recruited volunteers at your church? I’d love to hear them!

And need some resources getting these new volunteers on board? Check these out:

29 Nov 2022

4 Things I Have Seen All Healthy Volunteer Teams Have

By |2022-12-06T13:58:40-08:00November 29th, 2022|Leadership, Volunteers|7 Comments

I don’t think I have ever heard a youth pastor say, “You know what, I have plenty of leaders. Why don’t you come and try to apply again in 6 months.”

Having volunteers is the life blood of any ministry, and I would say especially youth ministry. Taking on volunteers to onboard them, to make sure they know what to do, to make sure you set them up well to lead, and to care for them while they are in your ministry is vital, but also a ton of work.

Over the last 15 years I have learned some things in regard to caring for and leading volunteers. I wanted to share my top 4 thoughts when it comes to having a healthy volunteer team and structure. Again, this is not exhaustive or the ONLY 4 things, but as I have been reflecting in this season, I kept on coming back to these 4 things to keep in mind.

1. Pursue clarity before pursuing people.

The biggest sin in volunteers is just trying to get people to fill spots instead of finding the RIGHT people for those SPECIFIC spots you have laid out. Too many times I have seen leaders just throw volunteers into the mix without thinking through exactly how that person will operate and without fully knowing what they will be doing. What happens with that is an awkward conversation in 6 months when both them and you are frustrated. This is why it is vital to make sure we pursue clarity before people. Things you should probably think through so you can add the right people are:

  • How clear is your vision?
  • What will they do on service nights specifically?
  • What role do they hit to make your ministry move forward?
  • Are they trained well to lead students?
  • Do they know how to win as a leader?

2. Leaders who know how to win, win.

This one seems pretty simple, but it’s surprising to me how many ministries do not have their wins set. Everyone and their mother wants to know how to win in whatever they are doing. Everyone wants to know that whatever they are involved in, they are doing a good job in those things. Same with your leaders in your ministry. Do they know how to win in your ministry as a leader?

Leaders who have clear targets tend to hit those targets better. For us, we have the “4 F’s”. It’s short. It’s clear. It’s memorable. All leaders know that this is the win for them when they serve for us.

You can get out those 4 wins HERE

3. Leaders who know each other create a great culture.

This one is from my friend and co-worker Vivi Diaz. She said this in a way I didn’t really know how to describe other than “the vibe” of your team. But when you break it down, when you know the people you serve with, like really know them, it changes the game on the involvement and commitment of volunteers. She said that we have to remember that this is not them just serving in our ministry, but they are serving THEIR church and wherever they are serving they need to be connected into community. So do we look at our volunteers as people to help us do what we need them to do? Or are we intentionally creating an environment and opportunities for our people to truly know each other? Because when people feel like they are in community they are more bought in, more committed and love being a part of it.

4. You’re goal as a leader is “to be” (delegation and purpose)

I think some of the best leaders are the ones when it comes to game time they are just “available”. The person that comes to mind for me is our children director at our biggest campus. 600+ kids on the weekend, hundreds of leaders and she seems like she is “not working” on the weekends during services and standing around in front of the kid’s check in. But the truth is, she’s working well. She has set up her team well, they know how to win, she put in the work so she can be the most effective… which is “to be available” when things go down or she can be available to connect new families and make sure they are taken care of. In order to do that she has given real big tasks to her team. She has given away a lot of her ministry, trained up people, and set people up well. Leaders who are struggling are usually the ones who are not great at delegation and giving volunteers purpose for the serving.

Again, I don’t think this is anything crazy or knew, but something I feel as we get into the thick of ministry sometimes we forget. I can look back at some of the healthiest teams I have seen and it seems to have these 4 items in their ministry and culture.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, check out episode 103 of the Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast

@justinknowles3

12 Sep 2022

We Don’t Have Youth On The Weekends

By |2022-09-07T19:44:05-07:00September 12th, 2022|Parents, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Ideas|5 Comments

We don’t have a program for youth on the weekend… intentionally. I understand this is just our context, and many churches do have weekend programs, and there is nothing wrong with it (maybe). For our context, that is not just some random decision, but it fits within our vision and strategy for the young people of our church. 

My question to you would be, do YOU have one?

We want our youth leads to be hyper-focused on pouring into and connecting with their leaders on the weekend. During weekends (for the most part), leads are there to be available and connect and perform campus needs. Leads can use this time for having intentional coffee and catch-ups before, between, and after services. We also run a youth section in our main auditoriums to connect with new families and students and help make our youth seem present on campuses. 

Why?

  • Leaders are already there, and this allows them to not be out another night a week. 
  • Touch-ins allow you to be their pastor, allows you to gauge where they are at, get feedback, and keep accountable with DYMU/correcting convos. 
  • For part-time leads, it’s a better use of your time to pour into leaders and students. 
  • Allow for connections for recruiting new leaders to join as group leaders. 
  • The result is better, more communicated, and cared for leaders. 

For students on the weekends, we have two options we want them to be a part of. 

  1. We want to sit with their families who come or in our youth section of the auditorium. Our lead pastor is their pastor. We get to serve students during their time in our ministry, but what happens when they graduate high school and they are not familiar with the lead pastor of our church? When they graduate high school, they graduate from our youth group and church. We want them to know our lead pastor. 
  2. We want students serving. The long-term strategy to keep students engaged in church post-graduation should be getting them on Sandals Church Teams to help them be a part of something bigger than themselves with the goal of Attending a service, Serving a service. Why? When they serve, they are rubbing shoulders with other adult believers who are pouring into them, students are a part of something outside of our youth ministry, connecting them to the church overall, and they are growing in their faith by serving the church. 

Again for you, it might be a thing. And that’s ok. What I don’t think is okay is doing it “because it’s always what we have done” so therefore, you just keep it. If it’s thought out, strategic, and intentional, I can get behind most things.

My hope is this might just get you thinking about what weekends can be for you.

If you want to listen to the Youth Ministry Podcast episode on how to build community amounts leaders, like mentioned above for the weekends, you can CLICK HERE to listen

@justinknowles3

Need some resources to hand to families and students to use during the week or when you aren’t meeting? Check out these great devotionals on DYM!

 

5 Sep 2022

It’s Your Job to Train Volunteers for Youth Ministry

By |2022-09-02T16:36:31-07:00September 5th, 2022|Leadership, Volunteers|8 Comments

I actually am shocked when I hear that student pastors don’t provide training for their people. I personally think that as the leader, it is our responsibility to make sure our leaders know what a “win” is for your ministry and how they can achieve that “win”. I’m shocked how many leaders just throw their new leaders into the deep end to learn how to swim in this thing called student ministry.

I think it is irresponsible.

So for those who do not do any training, let me share with you why this is so crucial for your ministry:

Your leaders will thank you – “My leaders would never come for a few hours for this.” Lies. Believe it or not, your leaders want to know how they can be more effective. If they have signed up to serve in student ministry, they are already nuts, they want to be good at it. Every single time leaders walk away thanking us because they learned something new to make them better. They will know what a “win” is and how to achieve it.

Your ministry will literally be better – If your leaders are better your ministry will be better. What ever you decide to train them in, they will walk away better leaders. So if that’s small groups, follow-up, getting on campus, whatever, you will see your ministry grow in some way because your leaders will know what they should be doing and they will execute the type of culture you want to see.

There are so many great tools to make it easy – We did a huge one day fall training, but we also provide all year training in our ministry. There are so many great tools. One of the best that we use is Youth Ministry University. One of the best investments we made all year. As we on board new leaders, it’s required to complete Course 101 of YMU. We want all leaders to know what we expect as leaders during service. All of our leaders are required to finish all 4 courses by a date that we set for them. Along with YMU, there are so many other blogs and resources that make training easier and effective.

It makes you look good to your higher-ups – It really does though. When you do a training, invite your bosses. Shoot, maybe even have them do a session. When you train, it shows all that you are taking this serious, you care deeply to make sure your ministry is successful in every way, and it doesn’t hurt you with your higher-ups. Our supervisor came and sat in. He was blown away and we walked away earning some points.

It shows you care for your leaders success in your ministry – If your leaders are wondering at any point during their time in your ministry “What should I be doing right now?”… “Was I making a difference today?” … “”Did I do what I was supposed to do today at service?” then you are missing something as the leader of the ministry. Training will help focus and assure your leaders what success looks like in your ministry. It shows you care for your leaders, not only as people, but as leaders who want to do well.

It’s your responsibility – Pretty self-explanatory. It is.

If you are leading a ministry, train your people. Make the time. Put it in the prep work. I promise you it will be worth it and your ministry will be better.

Justin Knowles

Feeling daunted by the task of training your volunteers? Let DYM help!

Train all your volunteers for one low price this month!

18 Jul 2022

Recruiting Youth Ministry Volunteers

By |2022-07-18T13:26:16-07:00July 18th, 2022|Volunteers, Youth Ministry Hacks, Youth Ministry Ideas|3 Comments

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I can’t get any volunteers. I put it in the bulletin. I put it in the newsletter. We’ve asked from the pulpit. No one cares about working with our youth.”

The truth is that many people just don’t feel equipped to work with youth. I’ve always found this perplexing since I’ve always loved working with teenagers, but the average churchgoer feels either intimidated or not cool enough or young enough to work with middle or high school students.

The good news is I feel that some simple but effective tactics can yield really amazing volunteers for your ministry. Here are some simple but proven effective tips for volunteer recruitment:

 Ask your current volunteers to recruit.

I’ve even gone so far as to ask everyone at a volunteer meeting to come back the next month with at least one person they are willing to personally recruit for youth ministry. A personal ask is always better than a broad plea, and people love to serve with their friends.  Plus, your current volunteers will love to have some influence on who they’ll be working with!

Ask your senior pastor or minister to adults for names.

It is my humble opinion that the pastors who are ministering to adults should be the best people to identify adults in your congregation who may be willing to serve in your ministry.  This can also help to coordinate with other ministries and make sure that you’re not asking the same 10% of adults to do 100% of the volunteer work in your church.

Ask parents.

Not everyone agrees that parents should be volunteers, but honestly, research tells us that students who see their parents practice their faith are more likely to become faithful adults. My guess is your ministry has loads of jobs you could use help with, from administrative to logistics to more student-facing roles.  The parents of your ministry have incredible gifts and you should be using them.

Ask early.

In my experience, people are more likely to say yes in the winter and spring for the following school year. The summer is almost impossible to communicate with folks, and fall is too late!  This also allows you to snag commitments before another ministry poaches all your prospects.  Mostly, it gives the potential volunteer time to pray and discern whether youth ministry is the right fit!

Offer training!

The National Day of Volunteer Training is Sept 24, 2022 and is a super affordable way to train all your volunteers in one day. Your church can host or sign up to attend at another church.  Your local denomination probably offers something annually or can offer you a list of local experts who will come to your church to offer training. Sometimes local seminaries will offer a training series.  Create your own training program with some of your veteran volunteers.  Your volunteers will feel empowered and will be more excited to serve with you when they feel confident and prepared. 

Ansley has served in youth ministry for two decades and holds a certificate of Youth and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. She loves the relational aspect of youth ministry as well as helping equip adults and students to lead. Ansley lives on her family’s beef cattle farm in Virginia with her husband and two young sons (and, sadly, no llamas).

See more from this DYM author here.

 

13 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. Suicidal Thoughts

By |2022-05-13T11:06:40-07:00May 13th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|10 Comments

Concluding our week, we wanted to talk specifically about a serious topic.  

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. Suicide is a heavy subject. Many fear that bringing up the topic, or even the word, will cause someone to think about it. However, this is not the case. Talking openly and honestly about suicide makes students feel safe and more supported. Some students will be more upfront about thoughts of suicide, while others may hide their plans. As youth workers, students trust you. If they are bringing this topic up to you, you cannot promise to keep it a secret.  

A brief note on self-harm: 

Self-harm can result because of a few factors. For some, it serves as a distraction from intense emotional pain. For others, it can be because they have a feeling of numbness and self-harm brings the result of feeling something. It can also become a way of communicating to others that they are hurting and desperate for help. However, it’s not always a form of communication. Some will be very secretive about self-harm and are solely focused on bringing some sort of temporary relief. Because it brings temporary relief, it can be reinforcing, and students can continue to come back to the behavior to deal with painful or overwhelming feelings. One of the most common triggers for self-harm is the feeling of rejection. Self-harm does not always mean suicide; however, the behavior is a sign for deep pain that could lead to suicidal tendencies and attempt.  

 

5 Tips for Walking with Students Who May Be Suicidal 

1.Talk about it 

  • If you think a student is suicidal, talk about it. You won’t give them ideas or put the thought in their head.  Students need a calm voice that is more interested in understanding their feelings rather than a fearful, anxious, or critical voice. 
  • Things to ask:
    • “Are you feeling suicidal” 
    • “Do you have a plan?”  
    • How detailed is the plan, do they know how they would do it, what’s the time frame, do they have access to things like firearms, meds, etc.?  
  • Determine the severity of their current state.  Do they need to go to the ER? 

2. Show Love 

  • Students need to feel, hear, and see that they are loved.
  • Repeatedly, tell them how much you care about them and love them.  

3. Be Empathetic 

  • Remember to validate the students’ feelings.
  • Make statements and comments that express empathy instead of telling them how they should feel.  

4. Stay in Touch 

  • Keep in contact with the student.
  • This can be through texting, calling, over social media, meeting up for coffee, going on a walk.
  • When a student misses a small or youth group, reach out and let them know they were missed, and you hope they can make it the next time. Avoid making them feel guilty for missing. 

5. Partner with Parents 

  • The parent must be involved in the conversation.
  • Many students are afraid to tell their parents or talk with them about what they are feeling. You get to be a safe person the student can bring along to talk with the parent.
  • You cannot keep this a secret. Offer to talk to parents WITH the student, agree to a date that they will talk to their parents by, if they don’t by that date let them know you will share with their parents for them.

 

ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH  RESOURCES 

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
12 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. Feeding and Eating Disorders

By |2022-05-12T09:22:00-07:00May 12th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|3 Comments

Feeding and Eating disorders are often characterized by an unhealthy relationship with food, whether that is through excessive eating or refusal to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight, and a distorted body image. Although more often diagnosed in girls, boys are also diagnosed but can be missed because it is harder to spot. Not everyone with an eating disorder appears underweight, eating disorders appear all over the spectrum. 

The most common feeding and eating disorders we see in students include anorexia, bulimia, and purge eating. Anorexia can be characterized by a refusal to eat, excessive weight loss, and distorted body image. A person with anorexia believes they are too fat, while everyone else sees them as far too thin. Bulimia can be characterized by frequent binge eating, followed by purging and/or strenuous dieting. Unlike anorexia, bulimia is often recognized by a normal weight or somewhat overweight. Binge eating is often accompanied by a feeling of having lost control, and often done in secret accompanied by shame and guilt. Similar to bulimia, weight is normal or overweight, however binge eating disorder is not accompanied by trying to get rid of the food by purging. 

 

4 Practical Ways to Support a Student with an Eating Disorder: 

1.Have Healthy Snacks Available

  • Keep healthy snacks in your office, the youth room, kitchen, etc. 
  • Fruits, Veggies, Granola Bars, Popcorn, Nuts, Pretzels, etc.  

2. Offer Support  

  • Be there to support them along their recovery journey. 
  • Show compassion and understanding. 
  • Be aware of how you talk about body image in your group.

3. Be Extra Aware at Camps and Retreats 

  • Be aware of how much the student is eating, watch if they have skipped meals. 
  • Have volunteers keep eyes their peeled for any students who have missed multiple meals, etc.
  • Require all students and leaders to attend meals.  
  • If doing high energy activities, make a deal on how much or what they need to eat in order to do the activity. 
  • Have them bring food you know they will eat.  

4. Partner with Parents  

  • If you notice a student not eating consistently, or recognize other signs of an eating disorder, talk with the parent.  
  • If they are already aware, find out what their plan is and how you can support the student.

 

Resources:  

National Eating Disorder Association 

When Your Teen Has an eating disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating 

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
11 May 2022

Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers With…. ADD/ADHD

By |2022-05-11T09:57:05-07:00May 11th, 2022|Mental Health, Training, Volunteers, Youth Ministry Resources|8 Comments

Continuing in our series, today we are looking at students who struggle with ADD/ADHD.

ADHD makes it difficult for kids to focus on their schoolwork and every day tasks, to pay attention, and sit still. It’s often harder for them to control themselves than other kids their age. ADHD can take form in two kinds of behaviors; inattentive and impulsive.

Impulsive behaviors can include fidgeting, struggling to sit still, constantly talking or interrupting, and being impatient. Inattentive behaviors might look like making careless mistakes, being easily distracted, having a hard time following instruction, and forgetting or losing things often.

 

Practical Ways to Help Teenagers with ADD/ADHD:

1. Provide Fidget Toys

  • Have a box with a mixture of fidget toys available somewhere in your space that students know about.
  • Being able to hold/play with a fidget toy can help students focus.

2. Encourage Peer Relationships

  • It’s often times harder for students with ADD/ADHD to make and/or keep friends.
  • These students can also be more subject to bullying or bully others.
  • Encourage extracurricular activities, participation in games, events.

3. Self-Regulation Ideas

  • Give time frames for when things are going to begin/end
    • Ex: When playing video games before service, give adequate time to let them know it’s going to be time to stop playing.
  • Cool-Off Space
    • Have a place in your building or facility where a student can go if they need to calm down or take a breath.
  • Allow the student to stand or walk in the back of the room during the lesson.

4. Check in with and resource your volunteers

  • These students often require some extra grace, see how you can help your volunteers navigate that.
  • If the student is a talker, give them the job of reading the small group questions, coming up with an ice breaker question for the group, etc.

 

Resources:

Fidget Toy Pack on Amazon

CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

 


 

Want to start conversations about Mental Health in your youth group? Check out a brand new Mental Health series at Download Youth Ministry:

My Friend is Struggling With

This 4-week series addresses mental health from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective. Mental illnesses are real and daunting, but even in the middle of it, there can be hope. The first week gives a mental health overview, the second week addresses depression, the third week addresses anxiety, and the fourth week addresses suicide.

For the month of May, 100% of the proceeds for this resource will go to a scholarship fund to help youth workers with a mental health challenge see a counselor. If you are interested in this scholarship, you can fill out the application here.

 

 

Michelle lives in Idaho with her husband where they love to spend time outdoors, go on new adventures, and find the best chicken wings and coffee places. She also possess the ability to kill any plant that comes into their home. She also is the Co-Host of the Middle School Ministry Podcast. Listen here!
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