Summer is officially here. Now that school is out, it is a constant battle to keep the kids entertained. To all the hardworking, selfless, tired youth ministry servants…
I see you.
You love the kids, you love Jesus, and yet you’re also pretty weary and a little surprised we’ve only made it to July.
It’s smack-dab in the middle of summer and you’ve already been through VBS (oh, the songs that will be replaying through your mind until the end of days). You’ve done the epic servant retreat and midweek dodgeball. You’ve answered countless text messages from your kids such as: “When was that money due?” and “Did I have to sign up?” and “I didn’t get that email!”
You’ve helped your kids raise every last penny to get your whole crew to the National Youth Gathering, where every day was packed with enough highs and connections and experiences and organizing (and walking!) to last you the whole year. Or maybe two, but it was all worth it.
Your promise to cut down your coffee intake to two cups a day seems like the fantasy of a crazy person, because now you’re up to double digits in refilling your cup with the truly vile stuff from the church’s coffee pot.
And after all of that, it’s only July. Really? Who planned all of this into one summer?
Also, what can you do to reach those kids who weigh heavily on your heart? The angry ones? The overscheduled ones? The anxious ones? Those struggling with depression? The ones who don’t look up from their phones?
Where Can I Turn?
I know what you need. More important, God knows what you need, and He is giving you the faith, strength, and energy to keep sharing His love. Trust that He can work miracles with all of your kids. Ask Him to remind you that youth ministry is so much more than just scheduling, reacting to complaints, emailing parents, and texting kids.
Your work is about introducing the youth to their Savior in a dozen different ways and on so many different occasions. It is soul work, and reaching kids at this vulnerable point in their spiritual development is among the most important work there is.
My new book, Shine, can help you with all of this. I wrote Shine to be a valuable tool in your ministry to these kids. Please, check it out and see how you can use it as a resource to connect with teenage girls.
Five Ways to Use Shine with Your Youth
- Lock-in: Gather your girls and soak up God’s Word together. Get their attention with biblical stories and then keep it with the dozens (and dozens!) of discussion questions in the devotional. How many ways can you use glitter in one night? This is an unforgettable way to find out.
- Individual Study: Keep Shine on hand as a gift that you can give to girls who are getting confirmed or graduating. Share a copy with a girl who is struggling, and write a note inside that you’re praying for her.
- Retreat: Invite mothers and daughters to get away and talk about their faith. Away from the busyness of regular life, mothers have a chance to listen to their girls and reflect God’s love to them. Shine tackles topics appropriate for girls in middle school and high school.
- Sunday Morning Study: Take your girls through the six-week study of Shine. A volunteer could easily lead this group study. Join my Shine Bible Study Facebook group for free downloads of bulletin inserts, short videos, and group support.
- Your New Favorite Resource: Add Shine to your library to use the stories and conversation sparks for quick devotions and go-to Bible studies. Loan your copy to girls who need more support. When your copy comes back dog-eared (or doesn’t come back at all), you can get another here.
Carry on, good and faithful servants. You are my heroes and I’m so honored to be part of your work with teens.
By God’s grace, He gives you the strength to lead these young girls and to guide them through this time of doubt and insecurity. Remind them that God loves each of them unconditionally.
Start incorporating Shine into your ministry today!