Advice to New Youth Workers.
Recently Brent, a Colocate Ministry Consulting Co-Founder and Coach, asked two of the Youth Workers that poured into his life over they years, "Can you share why you have chosen to pour out your time and energy into young people for all these years?" Here is what they had to say:
By Tim & Jan Peter
When you find yourself in a group of mixed ages, do you tend to wander over to the young people, just to hear some of what they are talking about? Do you get excited when the teenagers allow you to be a part of their conversation? Are you acutely aware of the fact that the Church cannot continue to grow unless our youth’s voices are heard? If you are nodding your head positively to these questions, then the Holy Spirit might well be guiding you toward being a youth ministry leader.
As youth counselors for more than 30 years at an urban church in Cincinnati, we treasured the chance to fellowship with the young people who met weekly in Youth Group. We found ourselves more in the role of an encourager and co-planner of their events; we found ourselves just BEING with them. Maybe we were more youth follower than youth leader.
Do not be misled. We went to lots of training opportunities, had to prepare ourselves weekly, realizing the importance of being flexible and careful to listen to their needs. We developed a willingness to be on the periphery of youth gatherings. God led us. We leaned on Him for support. We prayed for each of them.
All of our efforts were with this one main aim: to help them see that Christ wants to be a part of all their relationships, and this happens best in community.
Tim & Jan Peter
Tim and Jan, who both spent their careers in education, have have been married for 48 years! They have two grown children who now have their own children. Through the years they choose to invest their time and energy pouring into young people. They started volunteering when their oldest child was just a toddler. Through a multitude of opportunities they have focused on helping young people know that Christ wants to be a part of all their relationships through simply and intentionally spending time in community with them.