3 Things a Youth Pastor Would Like Their Senior Pastor to Know

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3 Things a Youth Pastor Would Like Their Senior Pastor to Know

Three things to help a youth pastor and senior pastor relationship
Having people serve in significant roles under a senior pastor’s leadership is necessary, beneficial, and biblical.  A senior pastor needs these key staff members to help equip others to do the work of the ministry. The time and conversations that senior pastors have with these individuals is crucial. But sometimes there are thoughts these staff members have that go unsaid. Pastor Brad Deetscreek is a veteran youth pastor with three important things that senior pastors may need to hear!

I have a small confession. I’m biased. I think youth ministry is one of the best places for an individual to give their life. I have had the great privilege of working with the students for nearly twenty years and it has been incredible. I have seen God do amazing things through students and I have seen the realities of the fallen world smack me in the face.

I’m also biased because I love the local church and I believe that God’s plan is to use the local church as the vehicle to reach the world. In the local church there is a relationship that, when working well, can bring great synergy and effectiveness to reach the church’s community. This relationship is also one that, when not done well, can lead to division and ineffectiveness. This is the relationship between the senior pastor (or maybe the title is lead pastor, head pastor, big man on campus, main dude or whatever is trendy now) and the youth pastor (director, student ministry pastor, guy who hangs with the kids, youth guy/girl, etc.). I understand there are a ton of different titles and frameworks for each local church context, so please adapt this however you can to your own context.

I have never been a senior pastor so I can only speak from the side of the aisle of those working with teenagers. In my experience I have often thought it would be good if they knew this or that, so I thought I’d write down a few observations from my perspective of the three things every youth pastor would like their senior pastor to know.

All  youth pastors aren’t mavericks

Many youth pastors have a reputation for not being team players and for only caring about their ministry. Though sometimes there are reasons for this stereotype, I do believe we all aren’t individuals who think we know how to do it better than you or anyone else or who think about only doing it our way. Many of us want to be led and want to be part of something bigger. We will yield and submit so please give us a reason to do so. Be a good teammate and bring me alongside you and let’s see what God will do.

We have great things to bring to the table to help a senior pastor

We are people who constantly have to change and adapt. Think about how versatile a youth pastor can be. Within the youth ministry, we lead a small group ministry, organize trips, train people and put them on mission, run effective outreach programs, work with all of the students and their parents. We do all this while trying to stay current so that we can understand how to apply the never-changing Word of God to this rapidly, hormonal, changing culture.

Be a good teammate. Use me and my strengths. Seek my input on how to preach to a younger audience and apply the Scripture. Give me opportunities to share my heart with the rest of the church. But not just on weeks when you are on vacation or on the weekends when the people are on vacation. (The week after Christmas, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.) Seek my input about trends. You have an in-house cultural researcher at your disposal every day. Put me to work.

I need a mentor

Though I have energy and ideas, a lot of times I’m lacking in experience. If I’m newer to ministry, I might not know I need help or might think I have everything figured out, but I’m learning here. Take me along with you as you prepare a funeral, plan a wedding, visit a family, or on a retreat/conference. If I have been in the game a while, I still need a mentor but it might look more like a listening ear or a friend. I spend a lot of time with teenagers and their parents. I can forget about the big picture and sometimes I need perspective.

These are just some thoughts, take them or leave them, but know I understand how difficult the job you have is and I’m thankful for all of you that God has called to lead the local church. We youth guys have your back. Let’s go!

Read more…

Three experienced pastors talk about reaching the younger generation in this article and video.

Present Day Preaching Through the Eyes of Historical Preaching – The Next Pastorpedia Live

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Pastor Dave McClellan, pastor of The Chapel at Tinkers Creek in Streetsboro, Ohio, will be the main speaker for the September 14 Pastorpedia Live.

Dave will talk about looking at the weekly preaching task from the very old perspective of orality. Before the printing press converted us into literary preachers who “write” our sermons, an older age saw preaching quite differently. A sermon was something built inside the preacher and released “in the moment” to a specific congregation. We’ll take a look at how to prepare and deliver from a more oral orientation without resorting to “winging it.”

Find out more and register.

CE National Turns 50

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It was 50 years ago that the Sunday School Board and the Youth Board combined to make a new organization to serve the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC).  Now in 2016, this ministry is known as CE National, with the “CE” standing for “Church Effectiveness.”

Through the years, CE National has provided some of the best known ministries and opportunities for the FGBC.  Annually, the Momentum Youth Conference hosts over 2000 people who are being motivated to live ON MISSION for Jesus.

Operation Barnabas, for the past 43 years, has been equipping high school students in what it means to live a life of ministry—with Jesus first, others second, and self last.  Over 3400 alumni have been trained to share their faith through OB and many have become leaders in the FGBC and other churches and parachurch ministries.

The Urban Hope Training Center is impacting thousands since its inception in 1998.  Then there is Coaching and Consulting, the Lending Library, Pastorpedia and Pastorpedia Live, ON MISSION Insights, CE Leadership Summit for youth workers, North of 55 events, and the partnerships in conjunction with Grace College through The National Institute for the Development of Ministries to Youth (Youth Ministry) and the Studies in Urban Ministry (SUM).  And that’s without mentioning programs we have done that have impacted lives in past years:  Euro Mission Institute, Latin American Institute, TIME teams, Senior Adult conferences, the Children’s Cabinet, City Life, Beyond, Brethren Student Life Volunteers, OB International, SMM (Sisterhood of Mary and Martha/Serving My Master).

We thank God for the opportunities we have been afforded and the ways God has used these ministries to impact people’s lives through these 50 years.

We will be celebrating these first fifty years at the annual CE National celebration and corporation meeting to be held at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 23rd, at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel in Toronto, Canada.  As a corporation member, you are invited to attend and participate in the meeting.

The meeting is part of the Margins Conference, the national conference for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.  You may register for the conference at visionconference.us. Be sure to register for the CE National breakfast using the links provided through this webpage.

Thank you again for your support of this ministry that seeks to be a catalyst for all believers to live ON MISSION for Jesus through the means of impacting the rising generation, reaching neglected people, and equipping biblical leadership.  I trust we will see each other in Toronto or at this year’s Momentum Youth Conference.

In His Work,
Ed Lewis

Ed Lewis
Executive Director

Sports Tournaments at Momentum Youth Conference

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2016_june_17_mo_sportsEach afternoon features different sports tournaments at Momentum which are organized and run by Grace College. Get ready to compete against other teams from different churches. It’s a fun way to interact with students from across the country or to come and cheer on your “home team.” Sign up for dodgeball, basketball, spikeball, volleyball, and soccer through your lead youth worker.

Dodgeball will be co-ed and played by 6 players. Getting hit by a live ball gets you out. Catching a live ball gets the person who threw it out and gets a team member, who was out, back into the game.

Basketball is played as a 3 on 3 tournament. There will be senior high and junior high divisions. All games will be played to 11 by 1s and 2s or 12 minutes. There is a round robin regular season followed by a single elimination tournament.

Spikeball is a team sport played by two teams of two players. Opposing teams line up across from each other with the Spikeball set in the center. The ball is put into play with a serve. Once the ball is served the players can move anywhere they want – there are no sides and no boundaries. The object of the game is to hit the ball into the net so that the opposing team cannot return it. Each team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball, similar to volleyball. Possession changes when the ball is hit off the net. The rally continues until the ball in not returned properly. After initial games, teams are bracketed accordingly to resume tournament play until one team is crowned the winner.

Volleyball is played as co-ed teams which must have both genders represented. Rotating is required and no more than six people on the court at one time. Rally scoring and games are played to 15, win by 2 and whoever gets to 21 first.

Soccer games will be played with 7 players on the field plus a goalie. Soccer at Momentum will be played in two 10 minute halves with a 5 minute halftime. This a a co-ed Momentum sport, however 1 member of both genders must be on the field at each time.

Register now for Momentum Youth Conference.

Richmond, Indiana, Church Sends 21 to Urban Hope

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urbanHopeLast week Urban Hope had a team of 21 students and adults from Hillcrest Baptist church in Richmond, Indiana. The group had an incredible week of training and hands-on ministry experiences. During a prayer walk they were able to help lead an individual to Christ! The group spent time talking and praying about how they could take back home to Richmond what they learned.

Katelyn Fultz: God taught me that I need to speak with courage about Jesus if I really love people.
Courtney Elston: I have thought more about the people in my class. Instead of isolating myself I plan on sharing Jesus with people in my school.
Joe Couch: God reminded me to see the people as Jesus saw them in Matthew 9:36 – 38; I’ve been overwhelmed by maintaining ministry already going on in the church and I’ve lost sight of all the lost around me every day. He also reminded me of my calling and gifting – to seek and save the lost and disciple them above all.

To find out how to bring your group to Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.

Preparation For Operation Barnabas is in Full Swing

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Preparation for Operation Barnabas 2016 is in full swing as our “super hero” team of OB leaders gather at CE National for their leader’s orientation this weekend.

Spiritual challenge, programming selection, and team dynamics are all a part of these next several days, along with a lot of fun as our leaders bond together as a unit. They’ll need all their “super powers” as they do final preparation in anticipation of the OB students arriving to begin their student orientation on Monday, June 20, here in Winona Lake, Indiana.

Follow the 2016 teams by Email, Facebook, Twitter, and by visiting tours.operationbarnabas.net/2016.

A New Resource for Families

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2016_june_10_family_bookWe are always on the lookout for materials that will help individuals, families, churches, and leaders live lives that focus on Jesus and help them be ON MISSION for Him.

Our friend, Mike Sciarra (senior pastor of Grace Church in Orange, California), has developed a new book that helps in these areas.  This new resource is called The Family Together: Worshipping God at Church and at Home and is an 80-page book about leading your family to worship God everywhere they go.  It’s a call to engage your household in the process of following Jesus.  It’s a call to lead them in daily family worship and to worship with God’s family, together in God’s presence praising the glories of the grace of God in Christ.  It is worth checking out!

While the cover price is $8.95 and available through Amazon and other outlets, if you order in bulk from Mike you can get reduced prices (25-149 copies are $4 each and 150 or more books cost $3 each).  If you would like to purchase copies for members of your church family, contact Mike at mwsciarra@gmail.com.

Join Us At Momentum Youth Conference 2016

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Join Use At Momentum Youth Conference 2016Don’t miss the #bestweekofsummer! Register now and join us for Momentum 2016. Hear from speakers like Clayton King, Afshin Ziafat, and Christopher Yuan (and more), participate in fun events on campus, serve with your friends in On Mission opportunities, live in the dorm for a week, and be challenged in your walk with God! Students come away from Momentum having grown in their faith and having experienced an unforgettable week!

The June 15 deadline is quickly approaching! All balances are to be paid by June 15 before the cost increases.
Registrants wishing to pay a balance can access their registration here.

2016_june_10_mo_video_text Jordan Howerton talks about Momentum Youth Conference

Several Aspects of Discipleship Discussed During the Most Recent Pastorpedia Live

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Tom Julien Speaks During Pastorpedia Live

Tom Julien Speaks During Pastorpedia Live

The June 8 Pastorpedia Live at CE National’s Russell Center was all about discipleship. Tom Julien, pastor of equipping at the Winona Lake (Indiana) Grace Brethren Church, talked about the theological and practical perspective of discipleship. Christy Hill, professor of Spiritual Formation and Women’s Ministries at Grace College and Seminary, talked about the discipling and maturing of women. Kip Cone, pastor of proclamation at Winona Lake (Indiana) Grace Brethren Church, talked about how discipleship works at his church.

The next Pastorpedia Live is September 14 with Dave McClellan, pastor of The Chapel at Tinkers Creek in Streetsboro, Ohio. Dave will look at the weekly preaching task from the very old perspective of orality. “Before the printing press converted us into literary preachers who ‘write’ our sermons, an older age saw preaching quite differently,” says Dave. “A sermon was something built inside the preacher and released ‘in the moment’ to a specific congregation. We’ll take a look at how to prepare and deliver from a more oral orientation without resorting to ‘winging it.'”

Dave will examine:

  • how preaching fits into the rhythm of a pastor’s week
  • how to find the “sermon that’s already there” in the text
  • how to free ourselves to speak more directly from the heart and less from abstract and secondhand theory
  • why expository preaching is still vital.

Now Accepting Entries for Momentum’s Got Talent

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Interested in showing your talent on the Momentum Youth Conference main stage?

CE National is excited to offer Momentum’s Got Talent (MGT) again this year at Momentum Youth Conference.

Students are encouraged to practice their skills such as vocal music, praise band, music videos, short videos, creative writing, instrumental music, and much more. Art pieces can even be brought to Momentum and entered. Students enter MGT by creating and uploading a video of themselves performing whatever they are planning to present or registering online that they are bringing a piece of artwork.

If you are a parent, youth worker, or pastor, we urge you to get your students involved in the process. It is never too early to start having students share what they will do for Momentum’s Got Talent in front of the youth group or the church, at a nursing home or retirement community, or at other places the youth group or church ministers.

One of the great advantages of a student’s involvement in Momentum’s Got Talent is the opportunity to be eligible for scholarships. Colleges give renewable scholarships to winners and often to students who are part of the audition round at Momentum.

In addition, several Momentum’s Got Talent entries will be selected to present their talent in Momentum’s main sessions. Students may end up singing (for example) in front of 2,000+ people!

See more criteria or submit an entry here.

To be a part of Momentum’s Got Talent, you’ll need to register for Momentum Youth Conference.

Save your spot at Momentum now by registering here. The next registration deadline is June 15 to secure the current rate! Momentum 2016 will feature fun afternoon options, ministry opportunities, dorm life experiences, incredible learning opportunities and so much more. Don’t miss it!

20 Urban Hope Kids Sponsored for Camp Conquest–55 More to Go

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Twenty kids have been sponsored to go to Camp Conquest for the week. There’s still time for you to help. Find out how here…

Urban Hope is preparing for their seventh annual camp experience for urban children ages 8-12. Urban Hope Community Church is thrilled and blessed to have the opportunity, through a partnership with Camp Conquest, to bring children from the church for an amazing week of camp.

God has been working in kids who attended Camp Conquest last year in exciting ways. Many of the kids who made decisions to follow Jesus at Camp Conquest last year were a part of a group called Salt & Light throughout the school year this year. These kids were able to learn how to share their faith with other people through ministries like puppets, sign language, and plays. The group performed for Christmas, Easter, and most recently, the Spring Block Party.

It is amazing to see the lasting effects that Camp Conquest has on the lives of kids in the Kensington community. Because of their experience at camp, they have come home changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and have been living out their faith in their homes and schools. Urban Hope is so excited to see the lasting effects this year’s camp experience will have in the lives of the campers and staff.

Waynesboro Church, Operation Barnabas Team, to Help With Community Festival

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Local Waynesboro residents enjoy activities at last year's Summer Jubilee.

Local Waynesboro residents enjoy activities at last year’s Summer Jubilee.

The Grace Brethren Church, Waynesboro, Pa. (Tim Clothier, pastor), and CE National’s Operation Barnabas gets a shout out in a story from the Waynesboro Record Herald about the Summer Jubilee, the annual 4th of July celebration in Waynesboro. Volunteers from the church, along with the Operation Barnabas team, will help with the event. Read more on GraceConnect.us.