New youth advisor youth coordinator webinar 2012-09-11

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Information about New youth advisor youth coordinator webinar 2012-09-11

Published on February 14, 2014

Author: MidAmericaUUA


The Workshop Will Begin in a Moment

Midwest UU Leadership New Youth Advisors/Youth Coordinators: “Let’s Talk”


This Conference Is Being Recorded

New Youth Advisor/Youth Coordinator , “Let’s Talk” Midwest UU Leadership Fall 2012 Nancy Combs-Morgan, MidAmerica Coordinator for Emerging Youth and Young Adult Ministries

Chalice Lighting: Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake. M.B. Ray

Begin “doing” by reflecting….  By reflecting on the hopes and dreams for youth ministry in your congregation  Structure and intentionality are essential in achieving your dreams  What is the “structure” of your youth group?  What are the expectations for adults working with the youth group?

How do you begin? Do you have a registration roster What communication vehicles exist for youth in your congregation? Review social networking policies with DRE and/or minister Have you made sure that your information has been given to your DRE for a background check?

Before Meeting with the Youth Group Have you met with your fellow youth advisors? Consider a SMG approach… Are there greater goals in the congregation which the youth group should be responsive to? Ex. Having more multigenerational services or social justice efforts; milestone events; new initiatives (Standing on the Side of Love)

Youth Group In-Gathering It’s time for the first youth group/youth class….consider: Hospitality-recruit at least 2 returning youth to be greeters Be Intentional-go through last year’s list of participants/visitors to send out a facebook and/or e-mail invite for the first session

In-Gathering, cont. Before the first session recruit adults and youth to make the space welcoming are there special needs considerations… does the space reflect a welcoming feeling for a “new start,” or does the space only reflect former attendees and/or former activities

Balance Structure and Creativity Consider a structured session allowing time for fellowship, creativity and for building a covenant Be prepared that first session with a chalice lighting and consider a brief small group ministry session (at least 30 minutes)

Creating the Covenant With a youth co-leader in the covenant process begin with a template of former covenants, weave the congregation’s covenant into this (if there is one) Model good facilitation skills in this process, give examples of “Step up, step Back; speaking with one voice; assuming best possible motive, etc…)

Resist Going Right to Goals/Task The inclination is often to get right to “work,” setting goals for the year, assigning roles, etc… attend to group process and governance (how decisions are made) Take this time to review the 6 components of a balanced youth program (have the 6 components posted throughout the space)

Six Components of A Balanced Youth Program Worship Community Building Social Action Learning Leadership Development Youth-Adult Relations 

Six “Killers” of a Healthy Youth Program Unqualified Advisors Lack of Planning Unbalanced Activities Unwelcoming Atmosphere Lack of Church support Bad Communication (Jack Brand)

Safe Congregation Issues Review your congregation’s safety policies, covenant with your fellow advisors to adhere to these policies Be on board with these policies – they protect our youth, but are also there for your protection – use a team approach, strive for 2 adults to always be working together with youth

Youth Faith Development Unitarian Universalist youth leadership development lays a groundwork for enabling young people to realize that they are moral agents, capable of making a difference in the lives of others…(and to) Accept that they are responsible for the stewardship and creative transformation of their UU religious heritage and community of faith.  Vision Statement from Tapestry of Faith,

Youth Ministry Working Group – A new direction with five core values….  A vision of youth ministry which is:  -congregationally based  -spirit and faith centered  -counter oppressive  -inclusive and multicultural, and  Grounded in multigenerational faith communities  (Youth Ministry Working Group,

The Steps to Building Community  For over 20 years one of the central pillars of UU youth ministry was the “Steps to Building Community” – bonding, opening up, affirming, stretching, deeper sharing and goal setting.  The “steps” illuminate a group process, but there is a need for a deeper grounding  Do you have a process of evaluating your goals for youth leadership development, using those 6 components: worship, leadership, youth/adult relations; community building, social action and learning?

A deeper grounding …  Unitarian Universalist congregations are called to start and maintain youth groups; fostering leadership and spirituality with youth, and building communities wherein all youth are affirmed, empowered, and spiritually nourished.  Consider integrating four strands…ethical development, spiritual development, Unitarian Universalist Identity and faith development

Pathways for Youth Leadership Development Invite youth to plan, participate in and lead worship, multigenerational programs, social justice projects, etc… Create opportunities for youth to engage in spiritual reflection through small group ministries and/or other programs

Pathways to Youth Leadership Development Recruit and train youth to serve on congregational boards and committees(not just youth specific committees or the RE committee) (Youth on Board,

Widen Youth Voices and Participation Take time to evaluate in your congregation the possibilities for youth to be full members – what are your guidelines for membership Coming of Age programs and membership Are all of your committees, task forces, boards, etc…open to youth leadership?

The “Developmental” part of youth ministry  Key developmental tasks of the middle adolescence stage (ages 15-18)  1) finding a valued place in a constructive group  2) cultivating problem-solving skills  3) acquiring support systems and knowing how to use them  4) finding ways to be useful to others  5) finding ways to feel a sense of basic self-worth  (Nurturing Children and Youth:A Development Guidebook)

Next steps: What will you do to reach out to other youth advisors in your area/district/region? Be an advocate for youth in the congregation Set an early goal for youth leadership development – send them to Youth Midwest Leadership School, Check out the “Luminary Leaders” program, 


Thank You

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