Our youth ministry "program" year is off to a good start. We have lots of fabulous volunteers surrounding and nurturing our Jr High and Sr. High students.
We are about 3 weeks into the beginning of our gatherings. It is cool how some of the theme's for all that is going on are converging without having planned it.
One of our goals for this year is to try to create opportunities for more interaction between the students and the congregation at large - with the hope being that we can surround each student in our church (whether they attend our "programs" or not) with three maturing Christian adults outside of their family that they would feel comfortable sharing a joy, concern, or question about faith with.
One way we are trying to measure this is by simply our students that question: Can you name up to three adults in our congregation that you would feel comfortable sharing a joy, concern, or question about faith with?
We are asking that now, at the beginning of the year, and will ask this again at the end of the year. Very non-scientific and imperfect I know. But it will be interesting to see if/how their answers change over the course of the year and if our/their relationship web is expanding or contracting. (It will also help us identify adults that are already forming good relationships with our students and possibly invite them to join our ministry team in the future!)
Then the challenge is to put that into the mix in looking at our ministry - are those relationships going to help keep our kids growing and engaged in becoming disciples even after they leave our gatherings? Will require some long term tracking....and praying.
God has so blessed us with volunteers and students that are already growing in community. I feel a burden to nurture this gift that God has given us. As you read this - if you feel lead to pray for me, our students, and/or our volunteers - please take a moment now to do so. I appreciate it more than you know.