Can it really all be catch free?

In response to last week's post, “What's the Catch?”, Kyle asked a great question:

I love the catch-free scenarios that we can come up with. The only thing I struggle with is making that connection of a kickball game attender to something else inside of our ministries. I'm in favor of catch-free, but what happens when he comes back to the next event, which can't always be programed as catch-free? How do we keep that tension in check?

Here's the thing, though.

I think our programs can always be catch free.

Here's what I mean.

As a youth ministry, you likely have worship events. You probably have Bible studies. Maybe you even have small groups.

Most people – even kids – expect those things out of our youth ministries.

Worship, Bible studies, and small groups aren't catches. They're what we do.

We just need to be honest about what we're doing.

So when you invite a teen to worship, worship. When you invite them to a Bible study, make sure you actually crack open the Bible and explore it together.

By the same token, when you invite a kid to slip 'n slide kickball, make sure that's what you're doing.

Maybe this doesn't sound earth-shattering to you, but it certainly was to me when I first began doing this about 7 years ago. At the time, I'd been at my church for a year. And that year was ROUGH.

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, 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 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.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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