Earlier in the summer, I shared that I would be helping to lead a youth leadership workshop at the SouGaConf’s Pathways to a Healthy Church event in WarnerRobins this past weekend. Jim and I began some initial brainstorming online and then collaborated via email and cellphones to put the finishing touches on things. I didn’t want to leave you all wondering what ever became of that (because I know you were all on the edge of your seats with anticipation and anxiety…)
So, last Saturday Jim and I did, in fact, lead the youth leadership workshop and it went well. Our basic outline for the three 1hr15min blocks was this:
I. Principles of Servant Leadership
Learning activities (which involved throwing balls and spinning in triangles and such) which were followed with reflection and instruction, pulling out lessons of communication, teamwork, sharing of authority, etc… (There was a good flow of ‘loopiness’!)Then a scripture study on John13 (when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet).
II. Discovering your S.H.A.P.E.
We worked through the acronym S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences) as a way to consider how God has uniquely shaped us to serve in ministry (yes, from Doug Fields). This included a Spiritual Gifts inventory (which I always have mixed emotions about) and a personality evaluation (we chose to use a True Colors eval rather than Myers-Briggs – for time and ‘fun’ level for the teens). It was quite the beast to tackle in the given time, but worked out to be something the guys and girls were really into. We actually carried this over to the first half of the last block.
We based this whole workshop on the principle that any call into ministry begins, and is grounded in, our call to discipleship. This third block focused primarily on that call, as a disciple. Jim taught on the spiritual discipline of prayer, and I on reading/studying scripture. The day closed with Q-&-A / open discussion on leadership within their particular youth ministries and local churches.
All in all, I thought the day went well. I enjoyed the collaboration with Jim and thought we ‘bounced’ well with one another. I still have the feeling that we filled the time with SOO much information and could maybe have accomplished a little more by doing a little less, but felt the workshop was definitely something worthwhile for the youth and adults involved. They all seemed very ‘into it’ and several stuck around afterward to talk about further questions and concerns. So, I thought it was good.
He did a wonderful job of summing it up! I think that it went very well also. This is the kind of thing that you get better at everytime–much like my experience in the classroom! Josh, I hope that we can do this again next year.
One of the great things about this was how “connectional” we were. We would see each other every Sunday evening at the Gathering Place over the summer. We emailed, blogged, and called back and forth. We were 2 youth pastors from across the state, coming together on something that we believe in. The conference believes in it too as we are trying to find ways to get young people more involved in church as well as discerning any calls to ministry that they may be experiencing.
Too many youth workers are lone rangers. Too many youth workers have a self-centered view of success. This is almost a survival instinct. When something goes down at a local church, one of the first solutions to band-aid the problem is to take care of what you can: get rid of a staff person–typically a youth person. Josh is a very giving youth worker and a very collaborative one. It was nice to work with him.