5 Non-Negotiables For Reaching The Millennial Generation
Over the last decades the students in my ministries have gone through lots of culture shifts. From the Baby Boomers...to Generations X, Y, Z, Millennials, iGen, and Gen Alpha. One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you connect with and leave a footprint on the next generation?" That's what this Youth Leader's Coach is all about. I share 5 "Non-Negotiables" for reaching the next generation, whatever they happen to be calling them.
These 5 simple principles have remained consistent as I've reached almost 5 decades of students. So listen in. Together we will raise a generation of young people that will say with confidence, "Jesus, we are yours!"
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It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that our students are living in a pleasure-driven youth culture. While pleasure is not all bad, chasing after it in the pursuit of "true" happiness will only leave them (and us) empty.
True happiness comes from living a life with Jesus at its very center, with His passion and purpose flowing out of it.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, I want to challenge you to frequently pause and ask yourself, and help your students ask themselves, the million dollar question, "Will what I'm pursuing result in true happiness or merely temporary pleasure?" For fun, we'll also take a look at ten things science tells us will make us happier people. Interestingly enough, none of them are new thoughts.
Choosing true happiness,
Is your youth ministry a little low on the friendship quotient? Are you struggling with one too many cliques?
Along the way, I've learned the root of the clique problem isn't pride, self-centeredness or sinfulness, but rather a lack of training and insecurity. So, in this Youth Leader's Coach, I'll share some tips on how I addressed the problem in my own youth ministry.
Help your students overcome the awkwardness of initiating and cultivating new friendships by using some of the service elements I suggest. It will be a night they'll remember for a long time to come.
How knowledgeable are you on the trends your students are dealing with in schools today? You've heard of cutting, but do you know there are websites for cutters now? How about Snurf Pills, Smoking Smarties, Skittlin' and Hot Boxing? If you're not sure what some of these mean...you're going to want to listen to this session with Jaycee Jennings, Director of the School of Youth Ministry, at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX.
The Enemy is fighting for the hearts and minds of our students and he has three main plays in his playbook. He uses Tolerance, do you know the difference between a homosexual and a fomosexual? He uses Experimentation, as a man thinks so is he, but if everybody's confused, you are living in the Enemy's playground. He uses Mysticism, have you wondered about the popularity of "Twilight" and "Harry Potter"? Jaycee will help you to understand these trends and more.
In this session, Anne Turmborello & Melissa Holcombe of Jeanne's youth group, Oxygen, join with Carolos Ortiz, Director of Student Ministries at Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, TX. One thing they all have in common, is experience with and a love for Urban Youth Ministry. Although they admit, there's no such thing as a formula for urban ministry, they share the benefits and misconceptions of urban ministry. They also share what has worked in their ministries and what mistakes to avoid.
In his ministry, R5 Productions, Mike Donahue travels the country speaking to students using humor, skits, video and powerful personal stories to captivate students and give them information they need to help make right choices.
Mike is finding one the main issues kids are dealing with today is acting out their emotional pain and many are doing it through cutting. In this session, Mike shares his own story on how he overcame the emotional pain of his father leaving when he was five and an abusive mother. He also gives the step by step methods they use to help kids suffering with deep emotional pain.
Clint Thomas' ministry, Chaos Theory, is a media-rich, hard-hitting presentation that zeroes in on many of the destructive decisions confronting youth today. His edgy fast-moving MTV style format grabs and keeps the attention of audiences while delving into the issues of sex, violent entertainment, pornography, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse and other high risk behaviors. Dedicated to protecting our young people, Clint educates youth and adults alike not by telling teens what to think, but rather by causing them to think.
Most kids are pretty smart, they just haven't put the pieces of the puzzle together. In this session, Clint helps the pieces fall into place by asking the hard questions and stating the hard facts. How do you reach a generation that's lost in a culture that is selling kids all the wrong things? Teach them to think.
Are you having trouble with creativity in your ministry? Josh Mayo, is the youth and young adult pastor for the 180 Remix ministry of Harvest Time Church in Ft. Smith, AR. In this session, Josh reminds youth pastors that they were created by a highly creative God who created them in His highly creative image. He also shares ideas how to include more creativity into a youth ministry.
Mark Pittman is a youth pastor and he is also the Web & YLO Guru at Interlinc. Everything they do at Interlinc is based on the belief that music is one of the most powerful forces affecting youth culture today. The quality of Christian music has greatly improved over the last few years, giving those in youth ministry the tools to match secular music. Today's Christian music has not just the quality but also the content to impact students. Given a chance, it can encourage, convict and change lives.
In this session, Mark explains why music is so powerful for your teenagers and gives you ideas to help you overcome the barriers of helping to filter the music your students hear, to convince your leaders and parents that some forms of Christian music are an acceptable art form and how to overcome the barrier of getting your kids to listen to Christian music.
In this session, Grammy Award Winning Producer, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, encourages the youth pastors present to lose fear, gain wisdom and allow God to direct it to reach a lost generation. Rodney not only loves Jesus, but he openly shares his faith with top stars such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lionel Richie. With personal stories and Scriptures, Rodney challenges all to speak out boldly to the lost and share our faith wherever God leads us.
We've all experienced it. You work lots of extra hours to create a night that will be off the charts for the teenagers. You sacrifice personal time and resources because you envision the incredible night that is about to occur. But then it happens. Just hours before you open the doors, the telephone starts to ring from several of your key students, telling you why they won't be able to make it. This wouldn't be so overwhelming were it not for one depressing fact you know all too well: for every one student who calls and says they won't make it, there will be several others who simply won't show up at all.
At that moment, moving to South America looks pretty appealing. But you care about teenagers and really want to make a difference in their lives. Just exactly how do you effectively bridge your youth ministry into the demanding calendars of your already over scheduled kids? Allow me to share a few principles that I repeatedly try to focus on in the middle of attempting ministry in this fast-paced youth culture!
Your "long-distance" cheerleader,