Adult leader’s training: The one thing you shouldn’t skimp on

On the way home from a recent youth ministry trip, I sat next to my colleague, Joe, on the plane. We both knew that in many ways, this trip was the last significant thing I’d do as youth pastor in our congregation. I was transitioning out and Joe was transitioning into my role. We both, I think, felt the weight of that – me in what it would mean to leave these teens behind; Joe in what it would mean to disciple them.

As we landed, I asked Joe a couple of questions about the mission trip he’d soon lead, the first he’d be flying solo on. Among them, I questioned, “Did you schedule an adult leader meeting for Madison?”

He looked at me aghast and said something along the lines of, “When am I supposed to do that?”

I replied, “You’re going to be so overwhelmed in the days and weeks ahead that it’s going to be tempting to skimp on training your adult leaders. Don’t.”

Joe quickly responded, “What should I skimp on then?”

It’s a valid question for anyone in a youth ministry setting, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in youth ministry for years. Youth workers only have so much time during the course of a week. Most of us already work far more than we get paid for. So where do we draw the line? How do we prioritize things?

Many youth workers prioritize time with kids.

That’s not a bad thing and believe me, I get it.

But I’d argue that when your time is limited, time with teens is actually not the right thing to prioritize.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and the forthcoming A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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