Elements of a Healthy and Sustainable Youth Ministry: 7. Climate

7.    Systems

All churches develop a “climate” which either positively or adversely affects what is done. The degree of health in a youth ministry will inevitably be reflected in the health of the climate in which it operates. In practice this means:

  • Having a church that enthusiastically supports it’s young people and those involved in leadership to them. Such a church communicates to the young people that they are important and to the youth leaders that they are valued. It attends programmes when invited and takes an active interest in what is happening in the youth ministry. This interest and support does not go unnoticed and affects the attitude and enthusiasm of youth leaders and young people alike.
  • The presence of welcoming atmosphere, a safe environment and a positive energy when young people meet. A healthy and sustainable youth ministry will develop a climate that is both positive and infectious. It has a culture that appeals to young people and makes them want to keep returning. The energy that exists when they meet is evident to even a visitor and contributes to the ministry’s growth and effectiveness.
  • A strong sense of group identity and purpose among the young people in which they are coming to faith and taking tangible steps in their love and service of God. Not only is there a positive atmosphere when young people meet but there is evidence of Christian growth and a positive peer influence in discipleship. The young people sense this is “their” group and have traditions and ways of doing things that is unique to the group and creates an atmosphere and places where faith flourishes.

 

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