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.

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

Read Scriptures App

The Read Scriptures app has to be one of the best Bible apps around for encouraging young adults to read scripture on their own and see how the Bible is one large story that all flows together. It allows the reader to not only track where they are reading but it also breaks up the Bible in sections that we believe are very helpful to understand the larger story.

On top of that, each section has an intro video that’s extremely helpful and simple at the same time to help the reader understand more.

This app has been created from the folk behind the Bible Project, and you may well recognise some of the videos, as this Bible app has become an awesome home for all their videos.

We highly recommend this app for young people 15+

Screenshots

app1   app2

 

 

 

WOF Refresher Scenarios

We have had over 270 youth and children’s leaders complete our WOF training day. As part of your ongoing development, we ask that you sit down with your leadership teams and work through at least some of the scenarios listed below first citing any material from the WOF manual that may be relevant, then discussing what you would do and why.

 

  1. A 16-year-old confides in you that they are regularly smoking marijuana and occasionally P and pleads with you not to tell their parents… What would you do?
  2. You are considering running a hunting camp for teens which involves firearms. Using the Wof manual, what steps will you have to take to ensure this is a safe camp that parents will consent to their teens attending?
  3. You are a male leader asked to drive a van load of girls home after an evening activity because no female leaders have their full license.
  4. One of the young males in your youth group has begun to excessively hug one of the female leaders and you have noticed the hugs grow longer in time.
  5. It’s Friday night and youth groups about to start but this week we are driving off site to go bowling. You overhear some of your volunteer leaders chatting about their day. One of them who is also one of your drivers has just been out for an after work drink before youth group.
  6. One of your single female adult youth leaders lets you know that a 15-year-old boy in the youth group is being physically abused at home, and so he has moved into her flat to protect him from the violence.

Children’s and Youth Leaders Safety Warrant of Fitness Training

Keeping young people out of hospital and youth and children’s workers out of prison…

 ***Key leaders please pass this on to your teams***

 PYM and Kids Friendly are happy to announce this free warrant of fitness training days

21-23 July – @ Connect – Waikanae
12 Aug – Oamaru (Weston Community Church) – 9am-2:30pm (lunch provided by Synod)
16 Sept – Auckland (Ranui PIC) 9am-4pm
11 Nov – Christchurch (venue tbc) – 9:30am – 3:30pm

Cost: Free to people from Presbyterian or Uniting churches. $20 for others.

 The warrant of fitness training day encompasses vital training on the youth and children’s code of ethics and health and safety practices and is strongly recommended for all leaders working with children or youth.

 For more information on the WOF training please visit http://pym.org.nz/wof/

 Participants must attend the full day in order to receive the PCANZ WOF certificate.

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.

GOD-Talk, a digital outreach-training resource

God-Talk is a digital outreach-training resource for youth and youth leaders. It includes free online video content, and is purposed to see young people throughout our nation talking about the Christian faith again.

Currently God-Talk currently has 5 video for training youth to share the Gospel.

Episode 1

Touch Pause Engage

In most monastic communities the monks would meet together to pray several times a day.  It was part of their every day life, and it would become a habit – something that happens without thinking.  No matter what they were doing at the time, gardening, preparing food, study… when the bell tolled they would “down tools” and head to the chapel.

Being together regularly formed authentic community.  Being together with God meant that they developed a sense of being with God throughout their day – their day was “punctuated” with reminders that God was intimately interested in them, invited them to be in relationship with Him, and to be part of what he was up to in the world.

What does that look like in 21st Century New Zealand?  We obviously do not live in the same kind of monastic community, and our daily lives are spent all over the place.  This activity is possibly a way to try and replicate the same kind of habit forming, connecting with each other and with God.  It may be that by stopping, pausing, and engaging with God regularly every day, after a few months we will carry with us a more constant sense of awareness of Gods presence.

“Touch Pause engage” comes from the way rugby scrums used to be led – and doesn’t mean much at all except a novel way of thinking about how we connect with God.

Can we use 21st social media, in this case Twitter, to send out a “bell” 3 times a day (7am, 12 midday and 6pm) to remind us to “pause and engage” with God?  The reminder will have a suggested prayer, or questions.  The suggested process is once you “hear the bell” you down tools, pause (count to 5 silently), breathe deeply, and read the prayer.  At the same time others from our wider faith community will be doing the same thing. No rules apply, as we don’t want this to result in any sense of obligation, guilt or failure – they are not Kingdom expectations. You are simply invited to join or not.  The prayers will be simple and short like “God please lead me today.”

A woman I read said once, prayer is simply being aware of God.  You don’t have to do anything, or say anything specific, but pause and engage.  The one liner may prompt you to say something else to God, or more importantly listen to what God might be saying to you at that time. Just the simple activity of stopping and breathing deeply is beneficial for your soul.

Interested? Then set yourself up on Twitter and “Follow TPE” – instructions below.

Instructions to receive via Text Message (2degrees and SPARK customers)

  1. TEXT 8987 ‘follow kiwichurch1’

Instructions to receive via Twitter

  1. Go to twitter.com
  2. Sign up (or log in if already a twitter user)
  3. Search for Kiwichurch1 and select ‘follow’

 

 

Liturgy Of The Cell Phones

Kara Root has put together this awesome liturgy to use in youth group or youth services when collecting and returning devices.

RELEASING PHONES

We surrender our phones
To acknowledge that we are not as essential
as we would have ourselves believe.
And to recognise how essential we are
to this moment, this conversation, this process.

We put down our phones
to put down the false belief
that we can be more places than here,
doing more things than this.
And to commit to being fully present, here and now.

We turn off our phones
to turn to each other and to the moment at hand,
with full attention, creativity and welcome.
May we receive the gifts of full presence and essential connection.
May God meet us in this moment.

Amen

 (phones are shut down and surrendered eg basket passed around and phones placed in them)

 

RETRIEVING PHONES

We return from this moment, taking with us the gift of being fully present.
May we return with gratitude and perspective
to the tasks before us and the noise around us,
a little more willing to resist the urgency
and a little more able to receive the quiet gifts of each moment
where God is present alongside us.

Amen.

(Cell phones are retrieved)

 

Copyright Kara Root

Shared with permission.

Christmas message from Moderator

Christmas: Giving presents, being present

Greetings

As much as we know that Christmas is not about presents, we also know that somehow presents are still a really good part of Christmas celebrations. To have something handed to you that someone else has bought or made with you in mind, and having thought about what might bring you some joy is – let’s face it – just really nice. And that sense of being considered is multiplied if the gift is something appropriate, something you really like and something which has clearly been given some thought. And there, for me at least, lies the rub.

In spite of the rampant consumerism presents may reflect, in spite of the risk of being seen as a cheap expression of our consideration for those we give them to, and in spite of the way they so often betray the lowly and humble origins of Christmas – presents are still a great way to remind others that they are important to us.

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