Category: Practical Advice

There are 23 posts published under Practical Advice.
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How to plan your youth ministry teaching for the year

Download the Cards             Stepping Stones Website

Video Script

In this video we are going to look at planning the curriculum you are teaching for the year in your youth group. And we are going to see how the Stepping Stones website can help with this.

So firstly we would pull together a planning group, your key leaders, perhaps your minister, elder for youth, or similar, maybe even the key children’s leader?.

Before we look at any curriculum, or the Stepping Stones website, we are going use a tool from Grow Ministry which works really well with Stepping Stones to help us put the right curriculums in the right place.

So what we have up on the board is the months of the year, and also the four school term dates.
Next we are going to put up the events we do every year no matter what. In this example, that is Easter Camp, Church camp and White Sunday.
Now we are going to think about about Stepping Stones.

On the stepping Stones website, it talks about discipling your young people in a well-rounded, holistic way through 4 key areas

Belief – and doctrine
Practices – to grow in relationship with God
Justice – to help transform society
Life – to keep our actions consistent with our faith

On the website, you are just encouraged to touch on all these areas (or Stepping Stones) to ensure you are not teaching on pet topics continually. You could be quite casual about this, or formal. Eg, the first week of the month is Belief, the second is Practices and so on.

In this tool, we are going to say, we are going to do a different “stepping Stone” in each term.
So we will put up the four Stepping Stones below each term, and now I’m going to put a card, under each Stone, where we will write the curriculums we will do.
So now looking at the chart we have terms, the Stepping Stones, the curriculum for the term, and below any events we choose to do. It may well be a good strategy to have one event a term.
Now I have just put the “Stepping Stones up in a random order, but we may now want to discuss is there a preference of order? Perhaps, you think they just work well in a particular order, but I would I also say also, it is good if the events are similar the teaching.
For example, I’m going to choose to Justice in Term 2, because we could do the 40 hour famine, and also encourage our young people to wear pink on Pink Shirt Day, the anti bullying campaign day.
im now going to put Practices in the term we are doing singing practice for White Sunday, Belief in term 1 when we have easter camp, and we do topics in term 4.
For you, this may look quite different, your church may offer a confirmation/baptism class each year in term 4, so you want to do Belief in term 3, and then at the end term challenge the young people to sign up for the class in term 4.
This is now the time we would look at the curriculums that match the Stepping Stone topics. You as the key leader should probably prepare before the meeting by looking through the Stepping Stones website, and have good suggestions that you can bring.
For me in this example, we have looked at the website, and we have decided this year
For the Belief Section to run some sessions from the Bible Project, great videos and free.
For the Justice Section, we are going to do the free L is for Life curriculum from Tearfund and also do a couple of sessions from the 40 Hour Famine resource from Fuller Youth Institute (again free)
For the Practices we are going to do the Alpha Prayer course, we have heard great reviews and it is also free.
And finally for the Life section we going to spend some money and splash out $20 on the High School Topics Talksheets from the Book Depository (free shipping)
You may now want to add a couple more events into your calendar, perhaps a welcoming event, or a Christmas Party.
This is where are going to stop in this video, but in your meeting you may want to add in a row for parent events, and a row for youth leaders events, put up Connect and leaders meetings etc.
This is a great tool to play around with ideas with your leaders. Making sure things flow well and dont clash with other events.
After this meeting the next stage of course will be splitting it down to what you are doing for each week. But you have got the big picture planning done, and you wont spend time each week stressing what you are going to teach at youth group.

I hope this, or a variation of this will help you in your planning.

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Youth Group Registration Form Template

 

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PYM has put together a template youth group registration form that you can download. Feel free to alter it and to make fit your situation.

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It is easy to forget important information. If you already have a registration form check it has:

  • First & last name of youth
  • DOB
  • Year at School
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Parent/guardian name
  • Relationship to youth
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number
  • Home phone number
  • Other important information (e.g. medical info, allergies, special needs, etc)
  • Parent/guardian signature

You may wish to collect on the form:

  • Names of siblings who are also in the group
  • Other emergency contact details
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Recommended Pay Scale for youth workers

The PYM Recommended payscale has been recently updated for staff being employed in July 2017 – June 2018.

Recommended Pay Scale

The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand adopted the Living wage at GA2012 as the minimum an employee should be paid. The Living wage is currently set at $20.20. This is the minimum amount any lay ministry staff member should be paid.
In addition to the current living wage, it is recommended churches take into account qualifications, experience, responsibility and their location when determining the pay.

It is hoped that the pay scale will encourage lay ministry workers to work longer for churches and to get better qualified.

It is recommended once employed, the lay ministry worker should be reviewed annually, with an increase in salary set on 1 July based on the Labour Cost Index to March, issued by the Department of Statistics.

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Tips for studying the Bible (July is Bible Month)

July is Bible Month.

The Bible Society, as part of it’s Good for Life campaign, have released some great resources that might be useful for your youth ministry. They have some excellent testimony videos, Bible Studies, A Bible Summary, posters and a six month New Testament Reading Challenge which includes a completion certificate.

The Bible Society have also given these tips for studying the Bible.

Tips for studying the Bible

PRAY – ask God to help you understand what you’re about to read.

READ AND LISTEN – read the passage slowly and carefully. Think about the parts that stand out for you. Read those verses again.

THINK / REFLECT – ask yourself some questions:
• What’s the main point of the passage?
• What does it say about God? Does it say anything about
what God wants for me?
• Is there something I need to learn? Is there an example to follow, or a warning? Is God giving me a promise?
• How does God want me to respond in my thoughts, words and actions?

WRITE / JOURNAL – it’s also good to write down your thoughts and the verses that really stood out for you in a journal so you can look back on what you’ve learned.

PRAISE – thank God for his Word and what you’ve learned today. If you find your Bible hard to understand, have a look at some advice on finding an easier to read Bible.

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Curriculum on World Religions

As Christian communities we do not need to be fearful of our young people learning about other world religions. Given the multicultural landscape our young people are growing up in, it is in fact helpful for our young people’s Christian faith to learn about their neighbours.

“But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to articulate a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15

Here are a few different options for you.

Curriculum

Christian Studies World Religions

Written by Dr Jennifer Macleod of McGlashan College, Dunedin. This curriculum is NCEA Achievement Standard: Religious studies 2.4. It explores what religion is and differing perspectives on it. It also covers the major world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

World Religions

Loving Our Muslim Neighbours

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota have put together a great little resource to help learn the basic tenets of Islam

Youth Curriculum

Self Learning Resources

BBC World Religions

This is a good website for finding out about each religion ­ it is not overly detailed, so it is a good place to start!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/

And it includes a really interesting Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders

Religion Facts

This is another good introductory website.

http://www.religionfacts.com/

CrashCourse Youtube Channel

John Green has a series of great educational videos, including some religious understanding in the World History Section.

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Quick tips on engaging with parents

Communicating regularly with parents is vital. Parents can be great advocates for your ministry in the church and in the wider community when they are on board. Here are some recommendations from our Engaging with Parents Policy:

  1. Create a brochure/Facebook page or website that clearly communicates:
    • The aims and values of your youth ministry
    • How parents can get in touch with you
    • Information on specific dates and times venues and activities that are on offer (see example)
  2. Contact parents whenever you are doing something new outside of the normal interaction that you have with them.
  3. If you drop off or pick up a student from their home take 2 or 3 minutes to check in with the parents.
  4. When young people are being picked up or dropped off at your venue ensure you have some key leaders in the car park who will introduce themselves to parents and give any helpful information necessary.
  5. Try and keep in contact with parents with a phone call at least once a term.
intergenerational

Intergenerational Ministry

DEFINITION:

An intergenerational youth ministry is one in which a variety of generations are engaged in the process of modelling and communicating faith to the young people.

ITS VALUE:

1. Exposure to mature and tested faith leads towards mature and tested faith.

2. A sense of community and belonging within the wider church develops.

3. Generational support exists for teens and their families.

4. Opportunities to serve outside of the youth ministry.

INTERGENERATIONAL IDEAS

1. Events

 Hold combined social events involving youth and older generations.

 Create activities, programmes and worship services where generations can discuss and experience life and faith together.

2. Involvement

 Look for ways to involve young people in the wider ministries of the church alongside adults.

 Look for ways to involve older generations in the youth ministry.

  • Mentors to individual young people and/or small groups.
  • Praying “grandparents” for small groups or individuals.
  • Assistance with tasks: suppers, transport, security.
STEPS TOWARD INTERGENERATIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY

1. Talk up its value by promoting it to young people, older people and church leaders.

2. Request that your minister promote intergenerational youth ministry to the wider church.

3. Research ideas and suggestions for intergenerational activities and involvement.

3. Start small – hold a combined activity or involve just one older person in leading.

4. Tell stories – pass on positive comments and talk up your “successes”.

5. Make “intergenerational” a philosophy and a value, not just a programme.

USEFUL LINKS

 To read: http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/articles/intergenerational-ministry-beyond-the-rhetoric?/2011/04/intergenerational-ministry-beyond-the-rhetoric/

 To watch: http://youthspecialties.com/blog/ys-idea-lab-intergenerational-youth-ministry/

 To get ideas: https://oneneighbourhood.org/2015/03/19/25-bridge-intergenerational-gaps/

CONTACT

 

Article by Murray Brown. To discuss or to arrange a seminar contact murray@pym.org.nz or 0278415321

or contact your regional youth enabler.

bible jamming

Bible Jamming

When musicians ‘jam’ they play a song over and over ‘til it’s in the groove, thus the title of this approach to getting into a Bible passage.

Start in whichever way seems normal (first round is the most familiar to many) and use at least 4 of the suggestions below.

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Create animated videos – Powtoon

What PowToon says about themselves

Make Youth Ministry fun by bringing “Awesomeness” into the church. Create animated videos and presentations as easy as PowerPoint to help you inspire, engage and present with a WOW.

PowToon is BETTER THAN VIDEO!

Engage, explain and and sell with impact using just a short, simple PowToon. They’re proven to be more effective than any other form of video or text communications to grab attention in the workplace.

Professional looking results in just 20 minutes

Use our done for you, ready-made templates to create a high quality PowToon, fast. Our “drag and drop” templates are designed, scripted and ready for you to use within minutes.

Get all the help you need

Absolutely, PowToon is as familiar to you as making a quick PowerPoint. But with millions of Tribe members all over the world, we know you might want some extra support (just in case). That’s why we’re here for you, every step of the way. Sign up for an upcoming live webinar or check out our training center. Plus, we’ll send you personalized invites, so make sure to check your emails from PowToon.

My Verdict

Yes Powtoon is very good, very easy to use. Below is my first attempt, it took me a little over an hour to do. I got some top tips from their website. The best tip was to write and record the script before starting on the design work. I think this is a pretty good effort for my first attempt.

There is a free version of Powtoon, which is essential, because the paid features are insanely expensive.

I give Powtoon a two thumbs up.

 

 

Powtoon Guide

 

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Thankful Advent Calendar

The Christian writer G. K. Chesterton had the right idea when he said we need to get in the habit of “taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted.” Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us. And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

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