NBC might have a new hit show on it’s hands. Being a comic fan growing up, when I heard there was a TV version of Constantine coming on I had to tune in. If you’re not familiar with the show, John Constantine (the main character) is a exorcist, magician, and dabbler in the dark arts. While the themes in the show may not line up with my theology, it’s still good TV. One thing that stands out about John Constantine is his panache for going it alone. When working in a team, it is usually begrudgingly.
Youth ministers can be a lot like John Constantine, going through this crazy life of ministry alone. Even though we preach to our students that we are all made for community, we have a tendency to go it through our lives alone. So what are some practical ways we can connect to other youth ministers and go through life together?
Check out YS Networks and NNYM for networks in your area. If you don’t find any listed for your area ask around, some local networks are not registered with either YS or NNYM. If there is not a network in your area contact NNYM about getting one started. Networks are great places for youth ministers to come together, pray for each other, collaborate, and do life together.
- Online Groups
Check Facebook for Youth Ministry Groups. Make sure to check the reputation of the group but there are some great groups out there! Youthmin.org has a great group. If you are Southern Baptist and live in the state of Kentucky, we have an awesome group on Facebook as well. For some people this is a great option, it gives you the opportunity to live life with other youth ministers and share in real time with them.
Next week I will be attending NYWC in Atlanta, and I’m pumped! Why am I excited? The connections you can make at a national conference like this can be irreplaceable. I’ve met some great youth workers from across the country at conferences that have really poured into my life.
- Find your Paul
Who is your mentor? I’ve got a few. People that I look up to, that I get tips, and advice from. Find a mentor that helps you along your journey. It may not have to be a person who has done youth ministry for 20 years, but it should be someone who has more experience than you do.
Don’t be the loner. You see the thing about loners, when something happens, by definition they are alone and have to deal with that something alone. Surround your self with a strong support system and you will thrive in youth ministry!
Kevin Patterson is the Associate Pastor/Minister of Youth at Spring Bayou Baptist Church in Kevil KY and a DYM member. He is a 5-year veteran in youth ministry; ranging from volunteer and part time to full time. You can catch more from Kevin at his blog http://www.lifeintheymfishbowl.blogspot.com and on Twitter @PastorKev_SBBC.